The Chicago Blackhawks are watching the playoffs at home again. They haven’t won a playoff series since 2015 which means they are doing a great job wasting the primes of Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews. Those two were still getting better when they won the three Stanley Cups but the team hasn’t been able to put it together once they signed their long-term deals. The current NHL playoffs should be teaching Stan Bowman a lesson about the future.
The Chicago Blackhawks should be going to school on the 2021 NHL Semi-Final.
Both series are tied at two games apiece. It is going to be an exciting time until the very end. Each one has the feel of a grueling seven-game series to decide who makes it to the Stanley Cup Final. It is good to see some great hockey be played with four teams that believe they have what it takes to win it all.
The Montreal Canadiens, Vegas Golden Knights, New York Islanders, and Tampa Bay Lightning all have something in common. They all have defensemen that are big, fast, and great skaters. The Blackhawks really don’t much of that at all and it is a problem. Connor Murphy and Nikita Zadorov are the only somewhat younger guys of any size. Murphy, however, is often injured and Zadorov isn’t that good.
If the Hawks want to get themselves back in contention, the defense needs to be fixed. They don’t all have to be huge either but some extra ability would certainly be nice. Adam Boqvist is not what he is advertised to be, Duncan Keith is getting very old, and guys like Ian Mitchell or Nicolas Beaudin are still very young.
Someone like Seth Jones is out there and the Hawks have been connected to him. They would have to give up a lot in order to get someone like that but it would certainly be worth it. This isn’t to say that if the Hawks added Jones that they would be a final four contender but it would definitely make them a better team on paper.
Stan Bowman likes to make big moves during the offseason so it will be interesting to see what he does to address this issue. It is not the only issue that they have but it is a big part of it. There is a reason that with the 2021 realigned divisions, the Blackhawks were the only team from the traditional Central Division that participated in the 2021 NHL Draft Lottery. If they don’t fix any of this, 2021-22 is going to be even worse.