Blackhawks may be turning the page
Could this be the end of an era for the Chicago Blackhawks?
The 4-1 thrashing of the Blackhawks by the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena was a shock to the NHL world. The April 20th bloodbath ended the 2017 season for the Hawks. The Blackhawks were swept out the 2017 Stanley Cup playoffs in the first round. This is the earliest they are out of the playoffs since 1993. It was the St. Louis Blues that sent Chicago packing early 24 years ago. It was also without dropping a game. The Blues eliminated the Central Division champions in the first round last season by winning Game 7, by winning 3-2.
That’s now back-to-back first round exits for one of the NHL’s “Original Six”. The Blackhawks were winners of the NHL Stanley Cup three times since 2010. Chicago was flat out dismantled in this series. The team was beaten down by by one of the league’s up-and-coming teams. The Predators should be a contender for the next several seasons.
The Numbers Speak for Themselves for Blackhawks
The Blackhawks scored just three goals in the series. That is 13 periods of hockey. It took more than 140 minutes to finally get on the scoreboard. They got shut out in the first two games of the series on their home ice. Chicago finished with 50 wins this season. That was nine more than the Predators. The team also had a Western Conference best 109 points. That was 15 points better than the No. 8 seed Predators. Even with all of that, it was Nashville that advanced. The Preds became the first 8 seed to sweep a series.
The energy wasn’t there for the ‘Hawks. It looked like age may be finally getting the better of the veteran-laden team. Nashville simply showed more heart and desire in the series. That has been a staple of Chicago’s long standing dominance in the league, and the Western Conference. The offseason should tell us a lot about what management thinks of the team. What direction will the Blackhawks go?