What this play-in series against Edmonton will mean to the Blackhawks
By Jimmy Lynch
The Chicago Blackhawks have not played a meaningful playoff game in a long time. We have been in the playoffs since 2017, won a game in the playoffs since 2016, and won a series since 2015.
Those are some bad facts when you consider where this team was not so long ago. It really seems like the Blackhawks have collapsed since the 2015 Stanley Cup Final. While players are already back on the ice and are a little cautious about their surroundings and playing again, I think they are going to be more cautious and nervous when they realize what they are playing for.
This play-in series is going to mean a lot to the Blackhawks. We are talking about the valuable experience for the younger players on this roster, and some meaningful games to fuel up the older veterans and get them going moving forward.
Countless young players on this roster have never played in a playoff game. The majority of players on this roster were under the age of 18 when the Blackhawks won their Stanley Cup in 2010. This is going to mean something to the young players on this roster like Kirby Dach, Dylan Strome, Dominik Kubalik, Alex DeBrincat, Alex Nylander, and Adam Boqvist.
While playoff experience does not mean everything in the NHL, it does help separate the good teams from the great. Even though the Blackhawks are young and have very little experience outside of their main few leaders, this is going to be a learning experience for the future.
The Blackhawks might not have earned this play-in position, but being in it is positive. If we win, we show we are still a threat to be reckoned with in the NHL. If we lose, we would show what flaws we still need to fix, and the team would gain some experience they can take with them for the next few years.
The Blackhawks have been gifted a great opportunity, and we need to show that we are up to the challenge. I know that we have a long time before the play-in series is going to start, but they are something to look forward to.
This series against Edmonton might save some people their jobs if they win a round or two. While I do not think Jeremy Colliton or Stan Bowman should remain with the Blackhawks, they just might if the Blackhawks can win. One thing is for sure, everyone that is with the Blackhawks is going to be impacted by this series one way or another.