The month of March was not kind to the Blackhawks. At the end of February, things were looking good for Chicago, and they were in the hunt for a playoff spot. Fast-forward a month and Chicago are now on the outside looking in. The losses aren’t really the whole story though.
When the 2020-21 season started, no one thought the Chicago Blackhawks were going to amount to much of anything. Literally no one, except Chicago’s own players and coaching staff. Miraculously, the team started making believers out of everyone and fought their way into fourth place. The team was poised to make a postseason berth.
Then March happened and the Chicago Blackhawks record was 5-8-1 over March. There’s definitely room for improvement.
The team dropped down to fifth place in the standings after Nashville recently overtook them. Chicago lost a bunch of games, and at times simply looked awful doing it. None of this is a surprise though.
The Blackhawks were going to struggle this year. They’ve lost too many players to injury, and have been forced to ice a LOT of rookies. Fortunately, the latter was one of the most important goals for this year, and Chicago has succeeded in that respect.
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
Kirby Dach made his return to the lineup, and earlier than it was to be expected. This was perhaps the biggest story of the month. The young Blackhawks center was expected to miss the entire season. Now he’s back in the lineup playing big minutes and will be able to benefit from the season.
Pius Suter continues to adapt well to the NHL and has 18 points for the season. He looked a bit shaky at times earlier on in the year, but he’s quickly become a more consistent player as the season has progressed.
While he’s also looked a bit shaky at times, Kevin Lankinen has stayed reliable in the net. In fact, he even produced a 41-save shutout against the Florida Panthers. The longer 2020-21 goes on the more likely it is that Lankinen is going to stick around as Chicago’s starter.
Wyatt Kalynuk got his first games. Mackenzie Entwhistle got his first NHL game. The list of players getting their first-ever NHL games this year for Chicago just keeps growing, and the season isn’t even over, even if March may have predicted the end of the line for Chicago.
April showers bring May flowers, and probably will see the Blackhawks on the golf course. That’s kind of what we thought was going to happen anyway when the season started. Chicago was up to the challenge all year, but the team just isn’t good enough to throw their weight around with the best of the best. Not yet. At least Chicago was able to beat the Carolina Hurricanes to close out the month. Carolina had been red hot coming into this game, and the 2-1 win was a big one for Chicago.
If Chicago was really going to be a playoff team, they would have needed to be better than they were throughout March. That’s ok. The primary goal of getting younger players into games was successful. There’s still time to make the playoffs, but consistently coming up short against some of the league’s best teams proves that Chicago has a long way to go. The most important thing is to keep playing a hard-working game, and getting the younger players minutes. March may not have been pretty on th score sheet, but it was far from a total loss.