How the NHL pausing the season helps the Blackhawks
By Ryan Fedrau
With the next few weeks of hockey uncertain, the Blackhawks have an amazing chance to get things back to normal.
Not only does this break help the Blackhawks, it keeps the players safe, while also giving them time to rest up for the remainder of the season. It’s a win-win for the majority of the teams involved.
The NHL season is very uncertain right now. There’s a lot of things that we don’t know about going behind the scenes. All 31 NHL teams were asked to keep their arenas ready for hockey as deep as into July. That could have the 2020-21 season start later. I could see that season starting closer to November to even out everything.
I’m not totally against this break for the teams. What is most important is the health and safety for everyone involved. I know no hockey for a few weeks stinks, but it’s better than this virus spreading even more. If these leagues and our country takes the correct steps, this could correct itself, hopefully, very soon.
Again, I’m not an expert on COVID-19. For more information about COVID-19, visit the CDC’s website or the website for your state’s Department of Health.
After the NHL’s pause of play, the Blackhawks will have a tune-up game against the Senators. The Blackhawks will be well-rested, so, there won’t be an excuse for poor effort. They play a back-to-back when the season starts up again, the second game being against the Capitals.
This rest gives Corey Crawford time to relax, as he’s been playing a lot of hockey as of late. If the Blackhawks plan on riding him until the end of the season, he’ll need this rest to finish all 12 games.
With the tune-up game, and then the Capitals, the Blackhawks will have two important games against the Wild. Those games are must-win games. If they can start 4-0-0, things get interesting. Even 3-0-1, with the overtime loss being to the Capitals, everything will help.
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Remember, the Blackhawks still play against the Sabres, Kings, and Rangers. So, if they can start off 3-0-1 at the worst, win those three ‘easier’ games, and stay the course, their playoff push is real.
If there wasn’t a break, I wouldn’t be as optimistic. This is very important for the older players too. If the Blackhawks do make the playoffs, they’ll be well-rested. As long as this team has their legs under them, anything is possible.
The Blackhawks’ season gets suspended down six points. Other things the league can do is take the four teams that are out of the wildcard spot in both conferences and play a round-robin tournament.
The top two play the teams that are already in the wildcard spot. That is something the NHL could look at. For the top three teams in each division, one game isn’t going to change their standings. So, leave them at their spots. Just focus on finding your two wildcard teams.
These are all interesting ideas. If the round-robin tournament happens my way, the Blackhawks would be involved. Those teams would also involve the Canucks, Wild, and Coyotes. For the eastern conference, the four teams would be the Islanders, the Rangers, the Panthers, and the Canadiens.
Everyone, stay safe out there.