Why Have the Hawks Fallen Off After Impressive Start to Campaign?

Published December 1, 2022 at 1:34 PM

The Blackhawks began the year playing solid hockey. They didn't light up the stat sheets, but they were playing extremely competitively against legit playoff contenders.

They began the season 5-4-2 and only had two games that were decided by more than 1 goal. Of those two games, one was a 5-2 loss to the former champs, Colorado Avalanche, and the other was a 3-1 loss following a late empty net goal for the Islanders.

Unfortunately, things have taken a massive turn downhill, as the Hawks are just 2-8-2 since their solid start.

So, what is the reason for their struggles of late? Well, for starters, teams have adjusted to their style of play.

Coming into the year, the team had a new identity with many new players, a new coach, and a new front office. So, it was easy for teams to be blindsided by their style of play as no one had ever seen them play together.

Another simple reason for the struggles is that the adrenaline has just warn off. They were surprising everyone, so the morale was high, but now that they are losing and where they are supposed to be, the team has lost morale and adrenaline.

When the Hawks were hot, I was convinced they were going to be an average team and make a push for the playoffs, or at least play spoiler to other teams' playoff hopes. Unfortunately, I was wrong about that, and they are back to where the belong...at the bottom of the league.

Is this truly a bad thing, though? The Hawks have some solid young talent, and with the new lottery rules, a bottom two team is guaranteed a top 3 pick. This draft is loaded at the front end of the first round, so any top 5 pick will be solid, but there are a few players that stick out above the rest.

Those few players are Connor Bedard, Adam Fantilli, and Matvei Michkov. Those three are considered to be NHL ready right now, so any team with a top 3 pick should hit on some solid talent. The only concern regarding any of those players is Michkov. Michkov is locked to a 5 year contract in Russia, so he will not be able to make it to the NHL until 2026, when he is 21/22 years old.

It is honestly probably better that the Hawks are towards the bottom of the league, as they have a long road ahead with their 5-year rebuild plan. It makes you wonder if the front office sort of told them that winning is not the best thing for the team right now. I highly doubt that is the case, though.
December 1   |   88 answers
Why Have the Hawks Fallen Off After Impressive Start to Campaign?

Do you think the front office told them to stop winning?

Yes3034.1 %
No5865.9 %
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