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31 in 31: Chicago Blackhawks 2017-18 season preview

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars’s Dan Rosen and Matt Waymire take a look at the Chicago Blackhawks for the upcoming 2017-18 NHL season

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The NHL is composed of 30 member clubs: 23 in the United States and 7 in Canada. The NHL divides the 30 teams into two conferences: the Eastern Conference and the Western Conference. Each conference is split into two divisions: the Eastern Conference contains 16 teams (eight per division), while the Western Conference has 14 teams (seven per division). The Easter Conference Atlantic division consists of the following teams: Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres, Detroit Red Wings, Florida Panthers, Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators, Tampa Bay Lightning, and Toronto Maple Leafs. The Easter Conference Metropolitan division consists of the following teams: Carolina Hurricanes, Columbus Blue Jackets, New Jersey Devils, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, and the Washington Capitals. The Western Conference Pacific division consists of the following teams: Anaheim Ducks, Arizona Coyotes, Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, Los Angeles Kings, San Jose Sharks, and the Vancouver Canucks. The Western Conference Central division consists of the following teams: Chicago Blackhawks, Colorado Avalanche, Dallas Stars, Minnesota Wild, Nashville Predators, St. Louis Blues, and the Winnipeg Jets.

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27 thoughts on “31 in 31: Chicago Blackhawks 2017-18 season preview

  1. All you Blackhawks haters reading this go F*ck yourself cause if you think the BLACKHAWKS won't make the playoffs or be a contender then you're wrong by a mile!!! 3 cups in 7 years now they still have there star playing and getting back Saad and Sharp they have power in the playoffs they know how to play and beat teams they have WAY MORE experience then any of your teams#GOHAWKS

  2. – Chicago is still a playoff contender, but they're not necessarily as elite as they've been the last number of years. They took a big hit on defense; can they really expect Keith & Seabrook to carry the load on the blueline now? They brought back Saad but it cost them 'Bread Man' in the process. Plus, the West is getting tougher around them. Anaheim, Edmonton, & Nashville are the emerging teams out West now. Not going to be a 'cakewalk' for Chicago like in years past.

  3. As a Hawks fan the Blackhawks kryptonite is their defense. They will have to play defense the whole sea and step it up in the playoffs. The Hawks just plain out didn't play defense last year vs the Preds. Yes they have lost in the first round the past 2 seasons but I still think they are playoff contenders. The Saad trade was a steal for the Hawks and I will tell you why. Panarin is a offensive superstar, he generates scoring plays and finishes them with goal. One thing is that he can't play defense. Saad is a better all around player than Panarin and his and Towes chemistry makes them a scary duo. Don't forget either that Saad is younger and already has 2 cups so he has had experience on the big stage. It will be interesting this season but I'm gonna say they lose in the 2nd round.

  4. Even though the Chicago Blackhawks got worse especially with losing Scott Darling, they're still okay contenders for the playoffs. People think that the Blackhawks won't make it to the playoffs because of getting swept by the 8th seeded Nashville Predators. Well, the NHL is filled with lots of parity and surprises in the playoffs.

  5. Their defensive core got butchered this offseason, unless they have young guns stepping up or Crawford being near perfect this will be a tough season for them..

  6. When I am named GM of the Flyers, I will take Duncan Keith off of Chicago's hands for St. Louis' first round pick and a second-tier prospect (Nicholas Aube-Kubel).

    The best revenge is to win a Stanley Cup with a player who was on a team that beat "your" team in the Stanley Cup Finals.

  7. Dan Rosen has such a hard on for the Blackhawks, and has for years. That's one of the main reasons I hate him. As someone working for NHL Network, you can't show obvious favoritism toward any teams, but Rosen does it to both Chicago and Pittsburgh.

    Also, he contradicts himself. Two years running now in these previews, he says that the bottom six forwards and defencemen are questionable and might not be good enough, and that they cannot be a top heavy team. But then not even 30 seconds later, he calls them a true Stanley Cup contender. That makes no sense; either their bottom six and defencemen won't be good enough and they won't be in the mix for the Cup, or you say they will step up and that they will be contenders.

    Their first place regular season finish last season was a complete fluke. They won many close games (1-goal, OT, and SO) and only had a +28 goal differential (excluding SOs), which is definitely on the lower side for a number 1 seed in the conference. That is also why they were swept and embarrassed in the first round, the young bottom six forwards were invisible. They only scored 3 goals in the playoffs, and Kane and Toews scored one each, that is far from depth scoring and production.

    Here's my take on this team going into the season: you will always be competitive with guys like Kane and Toews in the lineup, but beyond that, there are many question marks. Other than Keith, their defence is average at best. Seabrook is well past his prime, and losing van Riemsdyk will hurt a lot. From a forward standpoint, other than Kane and Toews, the only complete reliable players are Anisimov, Pánik, and Saad. Sharp is clearly on the decline, and I don't see him getting much more than 40 points this season. There is your top six, and only two lines will not get you a championship. Guys like Hartman, Hinostroza, and Schmaltz have to have solid years for this team to be better than average. Because at this point, with not even half of their forwards and only one defenceman being solid to great players, this team is just an average team and is not the contender they once were.

    I will say that you give a team like the Blackhawks, who have an active 9-season playoff streak with 3 championships in that span, an automatic playoff berth until they end their streak, but their days as a true Stanley Cup contender are long over. I have them going 4th in the Central, 8th in the West, 89 points, and losing in the first round this year.

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