The Chicago Blackhawks are not one of the best teams in the NHL. They have some great players, but outside of those few guys, they have a lot of holes in their lineup.
Teams like the Edmonton Oilers rely on their individual stars to win them games throughout the entire seasons. Right now, the Blackhawks are no different when it comes to their offensive leader Patrick Kane.
Patrick Kane can not lead the Blackhawks for too many more seasons. While I am not saying that Kane’s play will decline at all over the next two or three seasons, I am suggesting that Kane can not be the entire offense in Chicago for that much longer.
Kane has played above 21 minutes of ice time on average a night in the past two seasons. With Colliton behind the bench, the team is very comfortable playing Kane throughout most of the final period, especially when down a goal.
While I believe Kane is a great offensive player and one that you want on the ice, I do not think relying too heavily on Patrick Kane will help prolong his career for the next Blackhawks championship – whenever it may be.
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For the ‘Hawks to win, the team needs to start giving news guys opportunities throughout the game. We are moving into an era where the Blackhawks can have guys like Dominik Kubalik and Alex DeBrincat on the ice late in the game too score a big goal instead of always having Kane out there.
I am not saying the ‘Hawks have to forget about Patrick Kane and stop playing him; rather, I do not want to see the team play him on multiple lines anymore late in the game. Let’s give some news guys opportunities and let Kane take a little bit of a step back.
Duncan Keith is another player that might be better if he was not being relied upon all night long. While the Blackhawks need their best players to be their best in order to win because they do not have a deep enough lineup, I believe that the team also can not move forward playing their top guys for almost half of a game.
We all saw the toll that the 2015 championship run had on Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook. They were out there every night playing 30 minutes a night, and now they are taking strides in their decline.
It is time for the Blackhawks to spread the wealth and let their main stars take supporting roles for the new young generation of Blackhawks. The young pieces we have stepping up, and the current stars taking on a supporting role is a recipe for success, and I am excited to watch it all play out.