There are some people asking the question, “Are the Blackhawks a playoff team?” and the answer might not be what fans want to hear.
The short answer is, no. It might be easy to be cynical about this and just say, “They stink.” However, it’s oversimplifying things to say the isn’t very good, and stop at that. There are multiple reasons why Chicago isn’t reliably a playoff team.
Despite a wild 6-5 shootout victory against Columbus, it was the previous game against the Carolina Hurricanes that was more important. Essentially, Carolina threw down the gauntlet against the Chicago Blackhawks and showed everyone who is really ready for the playoffs. Chicago isn’t, and despite the fact that the Blackhawks have a winning record (10-6-4), they aren’t ready to be considered a contender.
You might ask, “why?” The team is winning games, right? They’ve pushed a lot of match-ups into overtime. Even if Chicago loses, it’s been by a small margin.
All of these things are true, and despite Chicago managing to hang in there against some great opponents, they aren’t ready for the postseason. While there are no hard and fast rules that separate a true contender from any other team, but when they’re on the ice the difference is obvious for everyone watching.
It doesn’t really matter what metrics are scrutinized. People will calculate puck possession, shot suppression, the average age of the team, and all kinds of things. These are all factors, but not one stands above the rest as a way to predict success. Chicago is deficient in many areas, but here are five reasons that the Blackhawks shouldn’t be in the postseason.