Blackhawks: Five Players That Need To Step Up Next Season

Adam Boqvist #27, Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Adam Boqvist #27, Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Kevin Lankinen #32, Chicago Blackhawks
Kevin Lankinen #32, Chicago Blackhawks Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports /

4. Kevin Lankinen

Kevin Lankinen is the Blackhawks guy, that is until he falls off again. Lankinen did not end the season on a high note. He struggled down the stretch and was outplayed by Subban and Delia through the final months of the season. Because he played the majority of games and was the starter through most of the season he probably will start next season in the starting crease/

Lankinen should start the season, but keeping the net will be a completely different story. Hopefully, the Blackhawks sign a player like Chris Driedger to play 30 or 40 games next season, as this season showed Lankinen probably shouldn’t play four nights a week and multiple back-to-back games.

Lankinen gave the Blackhawks a fighting chance, and that is all you can ask for from a goalie on this team.

5. The Coaching Staff

The last player that needs to step up isn’t a player rather the entire coaching staff. The Hawks played a lot of teams this season that were better than them skill-wise, but they also were outcoached many nights.

If Colliton is the guy for the future and is going to be around long term, the team needs to be better. The special teams were pretty good, but it is the numbers during five on five that need to improve. Also, there were some must-win games this season that often featured poor starts from the Blackhawks. Finding a way to elevate the play of everyone on the roster needs to be a priority of Colliton and the coaching staff next season.

"How much longer does Jeremy Colliton get with the Blackhawks?"

Suppose everyone on this list can elevate their game this off-season and come back better than ever, then maybe the Blackhawks do have a chance at making the playoffs. And if there is one thing we have learned through the first couple of weeks of playoff hockey, it is that anything can happen once you make the postseason.