Blackhawks: Anything can happen during a shortened season
By Jimmy Lynch
A shortened season for the Chicago Blackhawks might not be the worst-case scenario fans could have seen in 2021. With fewer games and more on the line every night, indeed, anything can happen.
The 2012-13 season was on the verge of being canceled due to a lockout between the players and management in December of 2012. However, the two sides made their way to an agreement, and the NHL was greeted with a shortened season at just 48 games starting in January. Luckily for the Chicago Blackhawks, the season would be one to remember.
Chicago started that season with a 21-0-3 record. Patrick Kane put up 55 points during that time, and the hockey was just so fun to watch. With over half of the season already gone by when the ‘Hawks finally got their first loss, all the team had to do was push on to the playoffs playing at a high level.
Chicago would win the Stanley Cup that summer against the Boston Bruins, being one of the first President Trophy winners to take home the Stanley Cup in a long time. This Blackhawks roster might not be the same group and might not be nearly as deep or as talented as the 2013 squad, but anything can happen.
If this new ‘Hawks team can catch the Lightning sleeping, they could very well sneak away with a win against the Lightning on opening night. Then all they have to do is beat the Florida Panthers during their next two matchups, and then all of a sudden, Chicago could end up being 3-1 or split with their first four games of the season.
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This new coming season will look drastically different, but that is true for every NHL team. The new form series matchups where you play every team twice will make things very interesting to watch, and with games only against divisional opponents, the points matter that much more.
Now, Chicago will most likely struggle this upcoming season. Many have already written them off as a high round draft pick team this coming season, and they very well could be right. However, if one of these goalies starts off the year hot and proves they deserve to be a starter, and if the ‘Hawks defensively play actually can take a step forward, then anything can happen.
On paper, this ‘Hawks team looks better than last year to me. Sure, Chicago lost Brandon Saad and Corey Crawford, but besides that, they have gained a more experienced Adam Boqvist after a long offseason. The addition of Nikita Zadorov, Ian Mitchell, Lucas Wallmark, Carl Soderberg, and Mattias Janmark could very well tip the tide in the Blackhawks’ direction during some of the season.
Sure, Chicago might not be the best team in the NHL, but with Patrick Kane on their side during a shortened season, we could have a fun ride to watch during the coming months. If not, then hey, the trade deadline sure will be a blast!