by Anthony Yench
After missing out on the playoffs for two straight seasons a young Blackhawks team found themselves in the playoffs due to a shortened season caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Many people didn’t have the team making it past the Edmonton Oilers in the qualifying round, but to many peoples’ surprise, the young roster beat the Oilers by a series count of 3-1. That meant the Hawks would play the number one seeded Las Vegas Golden Knights in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Again, many people wrote off the Hawks in the series and had them getting swept by the Golden Knights. After losing the first game 4-1 and losing game two in overtime, The Hawks bounced back and won game three 3-1. As expected, though, the Hawks lost the next two games, both by one goal differences.
Moving into the 2020-2021 season, the team is expected to make many changes. Here are some of the talking points that the team must think about.
- Many fans have mixed opinions on head coach Jeremy Colliton’s future with the team. He has been head coach of the team for two seasons now and he has coached the team to a 6th place finish in the Central Division in the 2018-2019 season missing the playoffs by 6 points. If the 2019-2020 was a regular season that was not shortened, then his team would’ve missed out on the playoffs again sitting in last place in the Central Division. If the team can find a reasonable replacement, then Colliton’s time might just be up.
- The defense has been one of the huge talking points of the team. After having a negative goal difference for a 3rd consecutive season, it might be time to consider letting go of some of the older defenseman such as Brent Seabrook or Duncan Keith. Giving younger defenders such as Adam Boqvist or Lucas Carlsson some more ice time might be the key to fixing up the team’s defense.
- Corey Crawford showed in the playoffs this year what he still has to offer. But is resigning him what the Blackhawks really needed? Or is it time for the team to move on from Crawford and think about signing a new long-term replacement.
The Blackhawks have a lot to prove in the 2020-2021 season and they have a lot of big decisions to make in this offseason to get them back to being a Stanley Cup contender.