After a rough start of the season down in Florida, the Chicago Blackhawks have turned things around. This team has quietly shocked the NHL and appears to be the real deal.
It can not be ignored any longer. While this ‘Hawks team is in “rebuild” mode, they are playing like a team pushing to make the playoffs. Chicago’s leaders in Patrick Kane and Duncan Keith are refusing to let this team rollover, and they are joined by the newcomers in that effort.
Pius Suter has four goals and three assists, Philipp Kurashev has found a home alongside Patrick Kane on the top line and has four goals so far this season, and Brandon Hagel has become a fan favorite providing a spark for this team needs. These three players all have been game-changers for the ‘Hawks this season, but the biggest difference-maker has been in the net.
Kevin Lankinen is the difference-maker Chicago was hoping to find in the net this season. They went into the season with three goalies, Delia, Lankinen, and Subban, and they were hoping at least one would prove to be an NHL starter. Lankinen is that goalie.
Lankinen has played in eights games for the ‘Hawks, and he has posted a 2.32 goals-against average and a save percentage of .928. If it was not for Kevin Lankinen, the Blackhawks record would be a lot worse than 5-4-4.
The Chicago Blackhawks have been playing great as of recently, but is this team for real?
More from Blackhawk Up
- Blackhawks: Grading Connor Murphy and a position comparison
- Blackhawks: Shuffling the lines to try and spark offense at 5 on 5
- These Lineup Changes could Solve the Blackhawks’ Scoring Problem
- Blackhawks: List Of Things To Be Thankful For This Thanksgiving
- The perfect holiday gifts for the Chicago Blackhawks fan
As the season goes on, I think the ‘Hawks’ might come down to earth a little bit. In the past ten games, they are 5-1-4, and while that is great, that is going to be pretty hard to keep up. Even if this team does fall off, this team could be a real playoff team next season.
Chicago is sticking with the big teams so far this season. They beat the Dallas Stars yesterday and went 1-0-1 against the Carolina Hurricanes. Chicago is sticking with the real contenders even though they are without some pretty big names who are hurt on their roster. Just imagine the step in the right direction Chicago could take next season when they get some of their key players back.
Getting back a healthy Jonathan Toews and Kirby Dach in 2021-22 would drastically improve the middle of the ice for Chicago, but it is not like they have struggled this season down the middle. Dylan Strome has upped his status with the organization thus far, and Suter/Kurashev have shown they also can play down the middle.
"Could the Chicago Blackhawks make the Playoffs?"
This Blackhawks team is the real deal. Even though they are without big-name players, if the young rookies can continue to play at a high-level, Chicago is in for some good hockey.