5 Takeaways from the Chicago Blackhawks 2020 season

Patrick Kane #88, Chicago Blackhawks (Getty Images)
Patrick Kane #88, Chicago Blackhawks (Getty Images) /
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Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks
Jonathan Toews #19, Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Embracing The Underdog Role

The Blackhawks embraced that underdog role well during the playoffs, but fans might forget that they did that starting at the Blackhawks convention in 2019. Jonathan Toews was very unhappy to see the team’s rival St. Louis Blues win the Stanley Cup, and to get over that, he wanted his underdog team to go back and make some noise in the playoffs.

Patrick Kane, after scoring his 1,000th NHL point talked about winning his 4th Stanley Cup. Kane and Toews are ready to embrace that underdog role, along with other young players, who did their jobs in the playoffs, even though they lost in 5-games to Vegas.

Jeremy Colliton did this well, especially in interviews. His top line was “not many people expected us to be here.” I found that to be likable and gave me hope before each game.

The future is bright for the Blackhawks, even if they lose Dylan Strome in free agency. I would hope they’d re-sign him and keep him with Alex DeBrincat, but the compensation for losing him could result in a top draft pick. I don’t think it’s worth it, but Stan Bowman is a different person.

Just looking at signing Calvin de Haan and Olli Maatta, and keeping them at the deadline is showing that they’re serious about making some noise in 2021. Getting rid of Erik Gustafsson was another mistake, as he was a top defenseman for the team. The young defensemen are going to be the reason this team is either good or bad in 2021. As shown in the playoffs, you can only go so far with a defensive core that cannot take over a game anymore.

"The Chicago Blackhawks will remain underdogs going into 2021"

I know I’m very excited to see what they can do, even if they miss the playoffs. They’re close to being a contender. The salary cap could prevent them from spending to get another defenseman or another forward in the offseason, but if some of the younger players in the system step up, the Underdog Hawks will be in the playoffs again.