The Chicago Blackhawks come out of the Christmas break as the worst team in the NHL based on their record, standings points, and points percentage. It is largely by design as they have their sights set on a rebuild that lives and dies with the 2023 NHL Draft.
They are seeing some of their already drafted studs play well in the World Junior Championships right now but the NHL team still has games to play in the post-Christmas portion of the season.
It all starts on Tuesday night against the Carolina Hurricanes. This will be another example of the worst team in the NHL playing against one of the best teams in the NHL as Carolina has its sights set on the Stanley Cup later in the spring. They certainly have the roster to do it.
Chicago is going into every game just hoping to play well enough to have a chance. That is good for the coaching staff to instill in the team so that when they get better players, the baseline will already be there for them.
In fact, they are coming off a win as they won the final game before Christmas over the Columbus Blue Jackets (also a bad team) by a final score of 5-2. It was one of the better games that Chicago has played this season.
The Chicago Blackhawks don’t have an easy path ahead of them this year.
Obviously, in the grand scheme of things every loss is technically good as the Hawks really want to win the draft lottery. Connor Bedard is a generational talent that can change the fortunes of a franchise with his play. Having the worst record in the league will increase the chances of getting him.
This Hurricanes team is going to present the Blackhawks with lots of speed and skill. They have forwards like Martin Necas, Andrei Svechnikov, and Sebastian Aho who are incredible with the puck and can make plays with the best of them.
There are also some other forwards that can burn you on certain days if you don’t play well like Jordan Staal, Seth Jarvis, and Teuvo Teravainen. Some of these guys are good veterans and some of them are youngsters who are just getting better with each day.
Brent Burns leads the group offensively on the back end as he is starting to settle in with the Hurricanes after years with the San Jose Sharks. Brady Skjei, Jaccob Slavin, and Brett Pesce are outstanding on the back end as well.
This is an incredibly difficult game for the Blackhawks to have after the break but these are the cards they are dealt. Expect a painful second half of the season but it will all be worth it in the end if GM Kyle Davidson sticks to his plan.