The season started out very promising with an absolutely authoritative win over the reigning Stanley Cup Champions, but has turned into somewhat of an anomaly. The ups and downs of the NHL season are inevitable. Although for Blackhawks fans, that hasn’t been the norm. For a team that’s finished in the top 3 of a tough Central Division 5 years in a row, fighting for the last Wild Card spot is something new.

Besides the obvious loss of Corey Crawford, there has been a lot of losing for this year’s Blackhawks team. They’ve lost a core defenseman in Niklas Hjalmarsson, they’ve lost their ability to score on the Power Play, and they’ve lost the edge that they used to play with. Worst of all, I think Coach Quenneville may be losing the locker room. If you look around the league, there’s one thing in common with almost all of the top teams. Their current head coach hasn’t been there for more than 5 years. Pittsburgh, Washington, St. Louis, Winnipeg, San Jose, Nashville, Toronto, Tampa Bay, Boston. All of these teams are trending upward, and have been able to integrate younger players into their system. Mike Sullivan took over as the Penguins coach midway through the 2015-16 season, and has led them to back-to-back Championships.

I’m not saying that bringing in a new head coach would turn the season around, but hopefully Stan Bowman is looking. I wouldn’t want it to happen this year, because Coach Q is a great coach, hall of famer, and I hope that he can use these past 2 seasons and start to adapt his coaching style. I think that by this time next year, we will have a better idea of what Q’s job status is like. Keep in mind that stagnation is self-abdication, and the definition of insanity is doing something over and over again expecting a different result.


(Photo by Chase Agnello-Dean/NHLI via Getty Images)

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