Blackhawks: Five thoughts now that the playoff hope is officially over
The Chicago Blackhawks’ very slim playoff hope is gone.
The Chicago Blackhawks did not have their best night of the regular season when they lost five to two against the Carolina Hurricanes. The team obviously had their backs against the wall following the puck drop considering Carolina is the top team in the Central, and that did not change tonight.
Going into the game no one was really expecting the Hawks to win five straight games and make the playoffs. Even if that occurred Nashville and Dallas would have to lose a lot of their games – basically all of them. Following tonight’s loss, the slim idea of Chicago making the postseason is over.
Even though the Hawks are done with their season in a week, there are some thoughts I want to talk about today ahead of the next four games. Let’s jump right in.
1. They lasted a lot longer than we thought
Remember the time when the Blackhawks were expected to be at the bottom of the Central? While the team did come down to earth during April, they played some pretty good hockey early on and looked like a team that was poised to take a big jump forward next season.
The Hawks have not won three games in a row since February 17, they have lost three or four games in a row a lot though. This team might not be what they used to be, but they are building to something now. Even if Chicago is rebuilding, their pieces are showing improvement earlier than expected.
Lankinen, Suter, Kurashev, Mitchell, and Kalynuk are ahead of schedule. So many different young pieces on this team stepped up at times this year. Sure the Hawks are not going to make the playoffs, but at least that was decided now and not a few weeks or a month ago.
I am not going to miss the thought in the back of my mind thinking this team was going to surprise everyone and do the impossible and make the playoffs. As a fan, you want to root for your team to be the best, even if logic says otherwise. That false hope died in a few keys games this year.