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Analysis

The One Thing Keeping the Blackhawks from becoming a Stanley Cup Contender

Kimmo Timonen #44, Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Kimmo Timonen #44, Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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The Blackhawks have been making moves to make them become a contender again. One thing is missing, though.

The Blackhawks have made massive moves yesterday: acquiring Hall of Fame goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, who may be traded to Pittsburgh for picks and prospects, and a second-third like proven winner in Tyler Johnson. Bowman acquired his hopeful number one defenseman in Seth Jones, and it’s no surprise if he makes more moves to round out his roster.

Seth Jones is focused on becoming the elite defenseman the Blackhawks need, and that’s great. Johnson will be coming in with a ton of experience and that’s great too. The young prospects from last year are expected to take steps forward in their development, and that’s, you guessed it, great as well.

What isn’t great? Their coaching staff.

I’m sorry to the fans of Jeremy Colliton (whoever you are), but he is not a championship-caliber coach. He and his staff have proved that they are not good enough (minus Marc Crawford) to lead a contending team. They are outcoached more often than not and, despite his hiring in 2018, still doesn’t seem to understand North American hockey.

Colliton and his staff will need to take MASSIVE steps forward in their strategy, and their methods of countering the opposition. They lasted through the play-in round in 2020, creating a strategy to counter Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, I’ll give them that. But they have been woeful in their attempts to create game plans since.

He also needs to accept physicality because that’s where the Blackhawks seem to be heading. With the size and grit the front office have been drafting, you can bet that the Blackhawks will be big and bruising within the next three-four years.

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To conclude, you can’t be a contender unless everything turns out as expected: four effective lines, four quality defensemen, a reliable goaltender, and a knowledgeable coaching staff. Bowman has made all these moves in order to potentially win another Stanley Cup with prime Patrick Kane. With Jonathan Toews coming back as well, the Blackhawks are getting massive upgrades to the roster, but if the coaching staff is mediocre, you can’t expect this team to get anywhere.

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