Making the case for the 2019-20 Chicago Blackhawks:
To put it simply, this team made the playoffs. Yes, it was a COVID point percentage race that ended up putting the 32-30-8 team in the playoffs, but still being one of 16 teams vying for the Cup is an accomplishment in itself.
The 2019-20 Hawks went on stretches of good play followed by bad runs. Their inconsistency was what really put them in the bottom half of the standings. The biggest pro over the 2020-21 Hawks is the fact that their goaltending was amazing.
Having a goalie tandem of Robin Lehner and Corey Crawford is better than Lankinen and Subban. It is no knock against Subban and Lankinen; it is just the fact that Lehner and Crawford were so spectacular last season.
The 2019-20 Hawks relied heavily on their goaltending. They often gave up 30 to 40 shots per game, yet Crawford and Lehner both averaged around 2 to 3 goals against each game. Chicago was lucky to finish the season in a position to play in the qualifying round. While their performance against Edmonton won’t be forgotten, I still think it was a good week for them and not so much a showing of how good the team was at the time.
Now when we talk about next season, the fact that they are without players like Crawford, Saad, and Toews are all knocks against them, so just keep that in mind.