We continue our NHL season previews with the Chicago Blackhawks. Last season they were not able to push themselves into the playoffs. They finished 6th in their division and were 24-25-7. The Blackhawks seemed to be rebuilding, and it was more reinforced when they trade star players from their Stanley Cup season. They made some important moves this offseason. Will it be enough to make it back to the playoffs?
According to Daily Faceoff, these are the current Chicago lines:
First line: Alex Debrincat, Kirby Dach, Patrick Kane
Second line: Dominik Kubalik, Jonathan Toews, Dylan Strome
Thrid line: Philipp Kurashev, Henrik Borgstrom, Tyler Johnson
Fourth line: Brandon Hagel, Jujhar Khaira, Ryan Carpenter
The Blackhawks had many young players make their NHL debuts. They did what a team that is rebuilding should do. They needed to play their young players to see what they got. The signing Henrik Borgström to a two-year deal was a needed signing. He played 58 career NHL games well in Florida and scored 9 goals and 10 assists. He also spent the 2021 season in Finland, and while there he scored 11 goals and 10 assists in only 30 games.
Patrick Kane had another great season, with 15 goals and 51 assists making him have 66 points. He still looks like he can play another 2 or 3 years. Talking about players who have been with the Blackhawks for years, Jonathan Toews is expected to be back. He was truly missed the past year and it showed in how the lines played. In his absence, the Blackhawks put Puis Suter who only had 14 goals and 13 assists last year. That is what the Blackhawks did not need. In the 2020-2021 season, Toews had 18 goals and 42 assists and it seemed like the Blackhawks needed that performance again.
Defense for the Blackhawks was a huge problem last season. Here is what their current defensive pairings are:
Calvin De Haan and Seth Jones
Jake McCabe and Connor Murphy
Caleb Jones and Wyatt Kalynuk
Golaies: Marc-Andre Fleury and Kevin Lankinen
The Chicago Blackhawks offense was not so bad last year, but it came down to their backend. The defensive was not playing well enough last season but luckily their goal Kevin Lankinen was holding the team afloat. He had an average season but who could blame him when the defensive did not help. The Blackhawks did add a couple of new defensemen and a new goalie this off-season.
They traded to get Seth Jones and Celeb Jones on defense, and they got Marc-Andre Fleury. That just is going to add hopefully more experience and can teach the younger players what they need to do to get better. Seth Jones is one of the best defensemen in the NHL and was a great pick-up for the Blackhawks. Marc-Andre Fleury is one of the best goalies in the NHL.
The Chicago Blackhawks are rebuilding and are putting younger players on the ice. They need to have more experienced players show the younger players how to win. The Blackhawks do have a better chance to make the playoffs this year but need a lot of their young players to step up and show why they deserve to be here.
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