What happened? The Chicago Blackhawks were SWEPT by the Nashville Predators in the first round of the playoffs. The Hawks were simply outplayed in all facets of the game. Nashville looked faster and more hungry to win these games. There were a few times where I saw Hawks players pull up when chasing after a puck (Huh?).
Anyway, this past weekend King Stan Bowman held his season end press conference and stated he was “completely disappointed” and this season was a “complete failure” when meeting the media personnel this weekend. In addition to those comments he said everything is on the table to be reevaluated but King Joel Quenneville would be back. And he wasn’t kidding about reevaluating the team and making moves. Assistant Mike Kitchen has been let go as well as the Rockford IceHogs Head Coach Ted Dent.
I believe these are probably going to be the only coaching moves made for this team but I do see a pretty significant piece either being traded or being on the block so that the Hawks can clear cap space and get younger.
Even with the disappointing season for this team I don’t think the Hawks are as bad as they looked in the Nashville series. This team has the potential to make one more run but I believe they need to do two things in order to get back on top.
- They need to find a guy who can consistently win faceoffs. This team was terrible at the dot besides Toews and he can’t take every draw. Either Kruger and Anisimov get better or King Stan needs to find a guy either through trade or free agency.
- They need to find a young d-man who can play in the top 4. Age is going to catch up to this blue line sooner or later and they need to find a guy who can somewhat replace Duncan Keith.
If those two problems are addressed I believe this team will win a cup next year. We will just have to wait and see what King Stan Bowman does.