CHISportsNation

As the saying goes, all good things must come to an end.  What about bad things?  There’s really nothing to brag about for the Chicago Blackhawks this season other than fans and pundits alike expected the season to end up this way.  There’s no hiding it – let the rebuild move on into next year.  It’s time to start thinking about the end of the season and probably none too soon for that.

Can we just end on a good note?

That’s probably the biggest question right now.  Well, the Blackhawks are still not the worst team in the NHL and probably won’t finish up in dead last either.  With a 24-46-6 record and ten games left, the Blackhawks more than likely won’t be the bottom of the NHL cellar – only sitting on the stairs leading to the bottom.  What does this mean for the NHL draft lottery?  Well, the big question of course is where do the Blackhawks sit in the Connor Bedard sweepstakes?  As things look right now, the Blackhawks, along with the San Jose Sharks and Columbus Blue Jackets, will have the first shots at Bedard and the top draft prospects this summer.

Keep cheering for the New York Rangers to make it to the Eastern Conference finals – if they do, then the Patrick Kane trade just became a 2023 first round draft pick to add to what the Blackhawks already have.  If the Blueshirts don’t make it that far in the playoffs, then the Blackhawks will have to wait until 2024 or 2025 to claim that first round pick from the Kane trade.

The new kids are making an impact on the ice.

Lukas Reichel scored a goal on Saturday night against the Minnesota Wild and looks to be in his element with the Blackhawks.  It remains to be seen if he heads back down to Rockford but I suspect he will keep his spot on one of the lines and then fight for a spot come training camp in September.  Reichel’s only flaw is that he doesn’t shoot enough and only averages two shots per game.  Time to unleash his potential and let him shoot more.

Recent addition Wyatt Kaiser also is making his impact in the NHL and will no doubt be invited back to training camp.  However, Kaiser quickly discovered that the size of college and NHL players can be just a little bit different when he met Wild enforcer Ryan Reaves on the ice Saturday night.  Welcome to the NHL, Wyatt!

It’s time to wrap this season up.

All that’s left is a few games to salvage some dignity and play hard.  The Blackhawks likely won’t finish indead last in the NHL so there’s some sort of consolation prize for the players and the fans alike.  Head coach Luke Richardson has kept this team together and they’re still playing as a team despite all of the personnel turmoil resulting from the NHL trade deadline.  Sometimes, even the slightest momentum at the end of one season can be carried over into the next season.  If the Blackhawks can end this year on a good note, there’s a chance they can carry it forward into the next training camp.

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