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A waning power: Explaining why Chicago Blackhawks are not that good anymore

Glenn Kaplan
248   //    08 Dec 2017, 01:05 IST

Chicago Blackhawks v Washington Capitals
Chicago Blackhawks v Washington Capitals

The Chicago Blackhawks have been a proud franchise nearly the past decade with making it to the playoffs and winning three Stanley Cups (2010, 2013, and 2015). Chicago has lost five straight games including a 6-2 loss last night against the Washington Capitals.

The Blackhawks wish they could play the Pittsburgh Penguins every game but that's not the case obviously. Chicago's record this season is 12-11-5 with 29 points. This sit in sixth place in the Central Division. They aren't behind for a wild card, but even if they do make the playoffs, Chicago is most likely a first round exit for the third consecutive season.

Also Read: NHL 2017/18 - Top 10 teams entering Week 10

The Blackhawks don't have the makeup to compete with the Nashville Predators, St. Louis Blues, and/or Winnipeg Jets in a seven-game series. Do you want to know what they all have in common? Apart from possessing tough physical defense that will get in your face, all of those teams also have forwards who can skate, hit people around and score goals consistently.

Chicago would have a tough time scoring on them because they are too small and they seem to play scared against bigger players. The Blackhawks don't have the grit they used too.

Nashville, St. Louis, Winnipeg, and Chicago have all played in 28 games this season. Chicago has scored 84 goals. Nashville has scored 92, Winnipeg has scored 95, and St. Louis has scored 92.

Chicago has given up 79 goals. Nashville has given up 80, but I trust Pekka Rinne (16-4-2 .926 save percentage 2.38 GAA two shutouts) between the pipes for Nashville. Winnipeg has given up 76 goals and Connor Hellebuyck (15-3-3 .921 save percentage 2.44 GAA one shutout) has had a good season so far for the Jets. St. Louis has given up 75 goals and Martin Brodeur revived Jake Allen's career (14-6-2 .906 save percentage 2.75 GAA).

Over-reliance on Crawford

Corey Crawford has missed the past few games with a lower-body injury with the Blackhawks. His record is 11-7-2 with a .930 save percentage and a 2.29 GAA, along with two shutouts. Crawford is good, but I don't think he can carry the Blackhawks to a championship. I don't think he is an elite goal-keeper despite winning two Stanley Cups.

Crawford won those championships because of the offense and the defense in front of him. They don't have that anymore. The Blackhawks also lost Scott Darling in the off-season which really hurt them. Anton Forsberg's record is 1-4-3 with a .906 save percentage and a 3.33 GAA. J.F. Berube came in relief yesterday for the Blackhawks. His save percentage is .857 and his GAA is 2.73.

Patrick Kane leads the Blackhawks with 27 points (10 goals and 17 assists). Alex DeBrincat is second on the team with 20 points (11 goals and 9 assists). DeBrincat is a rookie and that's a good sign, but that is also a major concern that no one else is getting it done.

Jonathan Toews has scored eight goals and recorded 11 assists. He is never talked about. Toews is having a better season than I originally thought. Artem Anisimov has scored 12 goals and Brandon Saad has scored 10 goals. Duncan Keith has recorded 14 assists.

Chicago lacks depth scoring once again. Marian Hossa is out for the entire season with a skin condition. Will see if Chicago gets better and if they don't, it will be interesting what direction they will head in.

Glenn Kaplan
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