With Wins Hard to Come by, Blackhawks Fans Look to the Future

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Chicago Blackhawks v Dallas Stars
Chicago Blackhawks v Dallas Stars / Sam Hodde/GettyImages
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Despite maybe Arvid Soderblom's best effort of the season, the Blackhawks still fell to the Nasville Predators 3-0. The Predators are an average team (14th, 2 spots away from the middle of the league) that relies heavily on their outstanding goalie and a few star caliber veterans. Needless to say though, that the Blackhawks were still outmatched by a team that by all accounts is beatable most times they hit the ice.

"Nasville Predators - Defining Mid for hockey laymans since forever" - could potentially be a new banner night idea.

Calling up Brett Seney, Boris Katchouk, Cole Guttman, or Joey Anderson (all on the active roster as of today) aren't going to translate into wins. This is the NHL and good teams have 4 lines of NHL caliber players and at least 2 pairings of reliable defenseman. Right now, the Blackhawks are injured, out of sync, and frankly a little demoralized probably.

How can we do anything (as fans) right now other than focus in on the truly important things for this team in 2024. For me those things are simple (here are the things I want to see):

1. Get all the young players time with one another. That means Connor Bedard playing with Philipp Kurashev or even some with Lukas Reichel to see if the chemistry is there moving forward. Let Alex Vlasic and Kevin Korchinski continue to eat big minutes in all situations to gauge how to adjust their games for the future. Are young players like Cole Guttman or Isaak Phillips going to make this team next season? If those questions can't be answered by the end of this season, then the Blackhawks will have wasted these roster spots in my opinion.

2. Let's see how Luke Richardson and his staff adjust their gameplan when lineups get depleted. I'm looking for adjustments to clear disadvantages that get defined during certain matchups against better teams. Will he be able to show a clear understanding to how to adapt when it is important in the years to come. The 8 goals they gave up before the New Year was inexcusable and alot of them saw no adjustments being made which is an issue right now for this team.

3. It's time to make a decision on Arvid Soderblom. In lieu of a good game that saw him have 30+ saves on the road I'm still quite critical of the 24 year old Swede. With an .882 save % this season and question marks being raised about his overall NHL future, I'm looking sqaurely at his play at the end of this season to determine whether any more time should be spent with him in net as a Chicago Blackhawk.

So again, the win / loss scenario here is simple: wins will be hard to come by and thus the Blackhawks are likely to draft in the top 5 again this next NHL Entry Draft. Still, we as fans can focus in on things within these games that should prove more important as the team's talent level starts to increase (14 top 2 round draft picks over the next 3 drafts). These are the 3 things I'm watching for each game night; what are you focusing on?