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yave1964

2019-20 Blackhawks year end review

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  PRESEASON OUTLOOK Pretty decent, still a viable core of Kane/Toews/Keith/seabrook/Crawford, new flair from gustafsson/Strome/Debrincat, then shoring the net up with Lehner, adding Maatta to the blueline and Nylander/Kubalik to the forwards. Hopes were high for a return to relevance.

 

FINAL RECORD 32-30-8 12th in the West.

 

HIGH POINT OF THE YEAR When the Hawks beat the 'Yotes on February first they had overcome a horrendous start to the year and climbed into the conversation with a record of 25-21-6 They had won 6 of their previous 7 with Lehner/Crawford pushing each other nicely.

 

LOW POINT OF THE YEAR Two come to mind. First, their high hopes were dashed with a rotten start, losing 9 of their first 12.  Most importantly, after spending most of the year climbing out of the hole dug by the early futility, after that overtime win on February first, they then lost their next five and nine of twelve to sink out of the conversation. 

 

STRANGE STAT OF THE YEAR Toews was used and abused in the dot like no other center in the game, he literally took as many faceoffs as the next three centers, Strome, Kampf and Carpenter combined the only such overused workhorse that i could find. I get wanting your top pivot to take as many draws as possible but his totals were off the charts. Debrincat had an off year but his scoring was vital, the Hawks went 12-2-2 when he tucked one in compared to 20-28-6 when he was held off the scoresheet.

 

WHAT WENT RIGHT Kane was his usual hall of game caliber stud, Toews was one of the best two way forwards in the game. Kubalik came out of nowhere to score 30 goals. Saad provided nice secondary scoring with 21. Kirby Dach didnt embarrass himself playing 3rd line minutes as a kid. Boqvist was solid on the back end in his first year. Debrincat led the team with 10 PPG. Strome and Nylander werent great but werent bad either. Both Crawford and Lehner had their moments. Lehner and Gustafsson were moved out for extra picks at the deadline.

 

WHAT WENT WRONG Defense was awful, Gustafsson had a careeryear the season before and was awful before being dealt at the deadlne. Seabrook is a contract hanging over their heads who can  no longer play. Keith was meh. De Haan contributed zilch. For many, 18 goals is a good solid year, for Debrincat it was a huge dropoff. 

 

 So that is the problem with this club they had a lot of guys like Debrincat, Lehner, Strome, Keith who werent exactly bad but not exactly good either. Too many passengers not enough drivers. Kane and Toews cannot do it all.

 

FREE AGENTS Only Crawford matters as the Hawks are finally out from under his deal.

 

OFFSEASON QUESTION MARKS Do you keep Coach Jeremy Colliton? The Hawks clearly underperformed. The Hawks desperately need speed and skill on the back end and Holtby is likely their top priority among free agents to fill up the net. a 2C who can play in all situations is important too. 

   Kane is still a Hockey God but they need to surround him with more skill.

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