The Chicago Blackhawks make absolutely no sense on paper to me. They are dramatically flawed, have more holes than a piece of swiss cheese, and yet find themselves in the hunt for the playoffs.
Honestly, I saw playoffs and it just doesn’t seem real to me. There is no way this team could possibly find themselves in the hunt for the Stanley Cup. The fact that we are in this position is just as shocking to how far we have fallen since 2015.
Chicago recently went on a 5 game win streak, which definitely doesn’t hurt their standings by any means. When I think about how the Blackhawks are just 3 points out of the playoffs it amazes me, especially when you look at who is on their roster.
Chicago has been injury struck this season. Players like Brent Seabrook and Calvin de Haan are out for the rest of the season. Andrew Shaw and Dylan Strome are both out right now, and players like Drake Caggiula and Brandon Saad have each missed time this season. Chicago is winning right now and they are doing it without a few of their top guys. This is not the team Bowman imagined this summer, and yet here we are with them 3 points out of the playoffs.
You could thank the goaltending that has led them to this point. You can thank Patrick Kane who is the best Blackhawks player ever, you can thank a lot of players for the reemergence of this Blackhawks team.
Dominik Kubalik finally seems like he can be something in this league, no one in the NHL has been better than Jonathan Toews since the first of January, and the penalty kill is actually one of the Blackhawks biggest strengths this season.
There is no doubt in my mind this team is flawed, we are one Patrick Kane injury away from the Blackhawks getting a top 5 draft pick this spring, but that doesn’t change the fact that much of the central division is in the same place. Nashville and Dallas have not been perfect, Winnipeg is flawed, and Minnesota is still a long way away. The Blackhawks actually have a chance to make the playoffs this Spring, although it makes absolutely no sense I can’t wait to see how this season plays out.
Of course, we might just lose the next 5 games coming off the all-star break and we would be right back where we started.