The Chicago Blackhawks are going to be facing an uphill battle if they are going to make any kind of noise when the season resumes.
The question many Blackhawks fans are going to sit within the coming months is whether or not this team is up to the challenge of competing for the Stanley Cup. I know what you are thinking, this team finished their season with a record of 32-30-8, this team is no playoff threat. However, the thing is, things change over the course of a long pause the NHL is currently under.
The Blackhawks are in the worst position, each round they will be reseeded to give the better teams a better chance against worse opponents, that means the Blackhawks will be playing the best team each round.
We have seen in years past that positioning means nothing. Last year all four wild card teams beat their top-ranked opponent despite home-ice advantage not being on their side. This time around there is no such thing as home ice, so everyone should be on an equal playing ground.
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I know that the Blackhawks really did not earn their spot, however, I hope they do make the most of this opportunity. This could be the year that defines the Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane era. This could determine whether or not this unit is going to get a few more years to find themselves again. We have already mentioned how just making this playoff might have saved a few people‘s jobs, but if you ask me what comes next will determine who stays and who goes.
There are still more phases to go, but if you look around this team one player is already ready to go out and fight for the cup, Duncan Keith. If more players could be as ready as Duncan Keith I think that the Blackhawks will have a leg up on their opponents. Now it is just time to sit back and hope these guys are training for the fight to come this spring.
It is too soon to talk about the lineups and logistics of a game that is not going to come for a month or so, but if you ask me, this matchup is not going to be won on the ice in August or whenever the series occurs. It is going to be won in the weight room right now.