Chicago Blackhawks fans were not happy at all at the end of the last season. For the second straight year, their favorites have missed the Stanley Cup playoffs and were far away from making any serious noise like in the previous years.
After opening the decade with three Stanley Cup trophies in five seasons, the franchise from the Windy City didn’t make anything noticeable over the recent four campaigns. Furthermore, they are in severe decline.
All the betting experts are suggesting to avoid putting any money on this crew. Chances on them to reach the Stanley Cup are 32/1, and they are in the lower part of the list. For instance, Tampa Bay Lightning are sitting at 7/1 right now. However, after evaluating them a bit deeper and analyzing the free agency deals they had, we need to tell you that Chicago might be solid in the upcoming campaign. It doesn’t mean that they can win the title, but to reach the playoffs, that is another story. Our recommendation already now is to disregard those negative voices and to feel free to bet on them when the season starts.
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Their summer activities were very frequent, and the Blackhawks added several players to their already present core, all in order to make some breakthrough.
The biggest problem of this team was the defense. During 2018/19 season, Chicago conceded 291 goals, which was the second-worst figure behind Ottawa Senators’ 301. Because of that, they dedicated a lot of attention to finding suitable defenders who are capable of protecting the goal and slowing down the rival’s attack. The Vezina Trophy finalist, and the former Islanders goalie, Robin Lehner was their first addition. A guy of his status and qualities is bound to take down some of the issues the Blackhawks dealt with. Olli Maatta came from Pittsburgh via trade, same as Calvin de Haan who arrived from the Hurricanes.
On the other side, the management didn’t make any big changes up front, as that part of the team worked just fine in the past. They decided to add more depth, and landed forwards, Andrew Shaw from Montreal, Zack Smith from Ottawa, and a center Ryan Carpenter.
That should be enough having in mind that Chicago has Patrick Kane who was the third in the NHL with 110 points. Kane was one of the best players last season and a member of the Second All-Star Team. Plus, the team has Jonathan Toews, Alex DeBrincat and Dylan Storm, which makes this group of guys one of the most potent attacks in the league at the moment.
But, first of all, we need to say something, many people aren’t aware of. After the New Year, the Blackhawks were the second-best team in the Western Conference, when counting only the results from that period. It means that they already started to create some system and chemistry and that these additions are just an upgrade.
Don’t be surprised if you see this crew high up in the standings, and possibly among the top 3 or 4 places in the conference. They have the potential for that.