Chicago Blackhawks and NHL Playoffs Update

Well just had a thought….Kane got 3 cups before Ovechkin got one. And we beat the Russians to the moon, too! So ha ha.

Very happy we get 7 games from Ottawa Pitt. I think it is better for hockey if Pitt wins this series as they play the more entertaining style, but Ottawa has that Cinderella story going for them, and Craig Anderson and his wife’s story from this season, and Erik Karlsson. 7 games of that one is a good thing.

If Nashville were to go on and win the cup, I cannot recall one other team that lost their number one center and won the Cup. If that happens, we are truly in a new era in the NHL, one dominated by skilled, fast defensemen. But I would be really surprised if that rule gets broken. So a lot is riding on the Ott Pitt game 7. Place your bets against Nashville now, thank me later.

Well Scott Darling is gone and the Hawks did the conservative thing and kept the better goalie. Darling is really good but it remains to be seen how he would ride out the ups and downs of a season being the clear cut number one somewhere. So we went with the sure thing. I think he can do it personally, but I don’t need a good hunch in net when you employ two superstars up front at $21 million per year.

I think the Hawks are not really a contender until they can integrate some size into the forward group, speed on defense, and better depth for the 3rd and 4th lines. The hope here has to be that Gustav Forsling and John Hayden can both turn into players. The last two playoff years are showing a downward trend. Any way you slice it, they need to shed salary even if they lose Kruger in the expansion draft, now that Panik got $2.8 million. A lot, and I mean a lot, is riding on Schmaltz and Hartman taking that next step in their development, like getting their games to the point where they could actually get a point in a playoff game. Might as well throw Panarin into that equation as well.

Something tells me this coming year will be Hossa’s last. Especially if we don’t show an upward trend in the playoffs for a third year in a row. Why would that guy, who has all the money he will ever need, put his body through a full season of hockey, for $1 million? The fact he is likely to do it even once, next year, is essentially a bonus for the Hawks. When he retires they will carry about a $4.9 million cap hit for a penalty due to his contract terms, salary versus cap hit, right through the 2020-2021 season. Won’t that be fun? Oh well, his signing was done to win a Cup and the Hawks have 3. So the suffering in the later years which is sure to come (see Detroit) was at least well worth it. And not everyone can say that (compare the Vancouver Canucks from 2011 to now. Ouch.)

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