2. The team is competitive, even though they weren’t supposed to be.
The Blackhawks have battled all season long, even though their year was written off when Dach, Nylander, and Toews were all out with injuries. While the Blackhawks might be fragile and fall out of the playoffs for good with another bad game or two, they still have been competitive all season long.
We fans were lucky to have some good hockey this season in Chicago. When things started off it was expected that the Hawks would be struggling to pass Detroit in points this year, and now the team is just four behind Nashville for the final playoff spot.
Yes, the Hawks were frustrating at times this season when they played top teams in the division, but all around the roster was exciting and the young players took on bigger roles with the team than was expected right away.
3. Watch and see which players you want to see back next season.
Hinostroza, Kampf, Gaudette, Suter, Zadorov, Stillman, and Nylander are all on the final year of their deals this season. The Blackhawks are going to have to bring back a lot of those players, but they might also want to open up some roster spots for other guys as well.
During the coming weeks I am sure we will see all of these guys, minus Nylander who is injured, get more ice time than normal to see who the team needs to prioritize bringing back next season.
Plus the coming weeks will help give Jeremy Colliton an idea of what the bottom six should look like next year. While the DeBrincat-Dach-Kane line is set, and a Kubalik-Toews-Hagel line would be fun to see, the rest is up in the air.
"Blackhawks: Stan Bowman has done a great job adding some key players"
Seeing where the Hawks decide to use Suter, Strome, Kurashev, Carpenter, and Kampf next season is the biggest question on my mind. We will have a lot of time to discuss next year’s roster this offseason, but for now, these last 13 games will help add to the sample size of evidence to support different players in different spots.