Chicago Blackhawks Training Camp Preview
After winning three championships in six seasons between 2010-2015, the Blackhawks have failed to get out of the first round in the playoffs the past two seasons. Chicago was the one seed last year in the west and they got swept to the Nashville Predators. Chicago only scored three goals in four games.
They have made some assistant coaching changes, but the main problem for the Blackhawks has been depth and a horrendous farm system.
Chicago doesn't have the grit they used to and the role players haven't been as great. They brought back Brandon Saad and Patrick Sharp, but I think they need much more depth than that in order to win another title.
Goaltender Corey Crawford is starting to show some age and inconsistency. Losing Scott Darling is going to hurt them. Artemi Panarin will be a big loss offensively, but he was never a good defensive player. Marian Hossa will miss all of the 2017-2018 season because of a skin disorder.
Projected lines: Line 1: Brandon Saad-Jonathan Toews-Richard Panik
Line 2: Patrick Sharp-Artem Anisimov-Patrick Kane
Line 3: Ryan Hartman-Nick Schmaltz-Tommy Wingels
Line 4: Lance Bouma-Tanner Kero-Tomas Jurco
Defense 1: Duncan Keith-Brent Seabrook
Defense 2: Michal Kempny-Connor Murphy
Defense 3: Gustav Forsling-Michal Rozsival
Corey Crawford will be the starting goalie. Anton Forsberg will be the backup.
Expect these players to step up in case of injury: Kyle Baun, Alex DeBrincat, Alexandre Fortin, David Kampf, Carl Dahlstrom, Viktor Svedberg, and J.F. Berube.
The Blackhawks will make the playoffs and it won't be a surprise, but it will be up to their depth and goaltending in how far they advance in the playoffs.