ForsbergTheGreat Posted September 16, 2015 Share Posted September 16, 2015 I'm looking for some other opinions on how people believe that Blackhawks season will go this year. I believe there is a good chance the defending Stanley cup champs could be not playing but watching the post season for the first time in 8 years. There are 3 key reasons as to why I think this could happen. The amount of hockey they’ve played in the last 3 years In the last three years the hawks have won 2 Stanley cups and made a conference final appearance. If we look at the kings last season, their post season playoff push came up just short, any many believe they just ran out of gas at the end. The kings, just like the Hawks, were also coming of 2 Stanley cups and a conference finals in 3 years. It’s not too unrealistic to think, that the long hockey seasons for 3 consecutive years could eventually have a toll on the players. Could we see a similar situation happen with the Blackhawks. If the Hawks get in any sort of a hole early in the season, due to Stanley cup hang over, or off ice distractions (Kane Situation), will this team have enough energy to rally back into a playoff spot? Roster loss Sharp & Saad combine a loss of 39 goals leaving the roster this summer. Not too often can a team lose two high impact (core) top 6 players and not feel the effect. The hawks also lost, Richards, Versteeg and trade deadline pick up Vermette, who came up big for the hawks in the post season. Will Anisimov, Dano, and a year older Teravainen be able to pick up the offence. It’s a tall order, and we will have to wait to find out. On the back end the shutdown pairing of Hjalmarsson and Oduya is no more. Hawks did get Daley, but Daley and Odyua don’t play a similar style of game. Daley is more offensive focussed while Oduya was a stay at home warrior. We will see if Daley can fill a needed role with the Hawks. Hossa is turning 37 this year. This guy is a beast and his game is fuelled by power and speed. It’s often stated the Sedins (who will be turning 35) will start to see production drop due to age, if that’s the case, then we can certainly say the same and expect to see some decline in Hossa’s game as well. All this doesn’t included the uncertainty of Kane. Him being out for any significant amount of time will have a huge impact on this roster. If you put that all together, only two of the hawks top 6 weren’t mentioned, Now even after all that the Hawks still have one of the best defencemen in the league with Keith, and they still have recently Serious radio NHL powerplay voted, best current player in the NHL, Jonathan Toews. But will these two be enough. Division The central division is one of the strongest divisions in the entire NHL. Over 35% of their game are all against teams within their own division. You still have the Blues who may have taken a lateral step, moving Oshie, Losing Jackman and rumoured Backes on the market. But they are still a well built and coached team, if Tarasensko can continue where he left off last season, and their D stay strong Bouwmeester, Shattenkirk, & Pietrangelo we should expect them in the post season. The predators who in my opinion have the strongest D core in the league. Weber, Josi, Jones, Ellis, Ekholm and newly acquire Jackman. Add Rinne in net, talented forwards like Forsberg, Neal, Ribeiro and the project cases like Cody Hodgson they are once again set to make the post season. We saw the Jets make the playoffs for the first time in their new franchise. Barring any injuries or major slumps, we could expect a very similar season or even some improvement if some of their young high potential rookies (Petan, Ehlers, Lemieux, Morrissey) can come in and make an impact. The Stars continue to add to their roster, last year we saw them pick up Spezza and Hemsky, this year we saw them acquire Sharp, Oduya and added goalie competition with Niemi. The Seguin injury last year could have very well cost the stars the season and if they can stay fairly healthy we could/should expect a strong post season push. After a slow start to the year, the wild really picked up their game. Dubnyk began playing like the goalie he was drafted to be, (12 spots before than Cory Schneider) and the team started to gel. If the Wild start the season as they finished off the 2015 regular season they should be in a playoff position. Colorado is always a wild card. Personally I think they will miss the post season once again but it really depends on how many games Varlamov can steal them. Mackinnon is a year older and more mature, he will be a force this year. They lost O’Reilly but picked up Soderberg, took on a high talented Grigorenko who could break out under his old junoir coach Roy . They also added Zadorov on the back end. Overall they are a toss-up, things could go either way. Overall outside of the Avalanche, there isn’t really a team (considering the hawks roster changes) on paper that Hawks are clear cut better than. I wouldn’t be shocked to see any of the teams mentioned finishing higher in the standings. Do I think Hawks are going to be a bottom feeder? No, but I think the competition has all upped their game and there isn’t going to be much forgiveness in not picking up a point every night. All teams are competitive and there really isn’t any easy games. Could the combination of all three things mentioned keep the Blackhawks from missing the post season. I wouldn’t be shocked if it happened. What do you think? Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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