How The Blackhawks Matched Up Against The Central Division Teams
By Jimmy Lynch
The Chicago Blackhawks finished their 2019-20 regular season with a record of 32-30-8. While this record was good enough for the team to make the qualifiers, it would not have given them a playoff spot during a regular season.
Winning the games against your own division is critical to making the playoffs. A team’s own division is the first stop during their run for the Stanley Cup. For the Blackhawks, that means beating their rivals in the central division.
The Pacific Division was a weak division this past season, and we saw some teams capitalize on that weakness. Teams like the Vegas Golden Knights and the Vancouver Canucks had an easier shot at making the playoffs because of the fact that their divisional opponents were easy victories throughout the season.
The Blackhawks are not in an easy division. While the central division is not what it once was, they do still have three dominant teams in the St. Louis Blues, Colorado Avalanche, and Dallas Stars. Outside of that top tier Nashville and Winnipeg still are great teams that can compete.
Chicago finished this past season with the worst record in the central, and their record against the central division teams reflects that. Well, let’s look at how they did against their divisional rivals this past season.
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St Louis Blues: 42-19-10
Chicago went 0-4-0 against the Blues
Colorado Avalanche: 42-20-8
Chicago went 1-3-0 against the Colorado Avalanche
Dallas Stars: 37-24-8
Chicago went 1-1-1 against the Dallas Stars
Nashville Predators: 35-26-8
Chicago went 2-2-0 against the Nashville Predators
Winnipeg Jets: 37-28-6
Chicago went 2-2-1 against the Winnipeg Jets
Minnesota Wild: 35-27-7
Chicago went 1-0-1 against the Minnesota Wild
Overall, the Blackhawks went 7-12-3 against their divisional rivals. That is not great when you consider the fact that the top three teams in each division are the only ones guaranteed a playoff spot. Chicago captured 17 points against their divisional rivals this past season.
These losses cost the Blackhawks 27 points. While I am not saying the team has to win every game against their own division, I am trying to point out that in order to compete for the playoffs it starts with games against your own division.
The Blackhawks have a lot of work to do before they can compete for a Stanley Cup. Honestly, I think their number one goal needs to be building a roster that can beat these rivals first, and then worry about a team that can compete for a Cup.