The Blackhawks season was a story of up and downs, mostly resembling a Greek drama. The season started off strong by scoring at an incredible pace with the brightest light being Patrik Kane, scoring a close to 200 point pace.
Two notable trades saw pending UFA Scott Darling being shipped to Arizona together with Marcus Krüger for Martin Hanzal and Tobias Rieder.
"Both Hanzal and Rieder proved to be instrumental to our success. We were happy to bring them in and we are proud to still have them on the team now." GM Sundell commented.
Though thinks proved to be as unsustainable as it looked and mid-season things fell apart and the Blackhawks quickly fell through the standings with one of the worst GA in the league. Both Panik and Kanes scoring pace dropped off and without any depth scoring things looked bleek.
"We struggled mightingly around Christmas" GM Sundell acknowledged "No matter what we tried thing just looked worse and worse. We tried bringing in some depth with Megna, Gionta, Grant and Foligno and while they all helped improving our team, it didn't right the ship or stop the slide."
Though in spring the team pulled together and rushed right back into a playoff spot.
"We sacrificed a lot of depth on defense to get some secondary scoring for now and the future. I knew we had the core to make it to the post-season, things just had to fall into place. We would like to thank our former defencemen in Pokka and Kempny for their service but we are stoked to have guys like Nicklas (Jensen) on our team for the long run. I am proud that our team pulled together and went all in for the rush, no focus on anything but that. The leaders in the room such as Toews, Gionta, Kane, Seabrook and Keith all pulled their weight and took responsibility."
-Kane ended up being both the top goal and point scorer nudging the 50 goal barrier with 49 goals and breaking the 100 point one with 102 points.
-Captain Toews had a career year scoring 84 points in 76 games with many of his goals being game-winners.
-Panarin, Panik and Rieder all passed 60 points with Panarin even reaching 71 points.
-Hartman, Anisimov and Rasmussen all had a bit of a tough year collecting over -50 culmulative +/- together.
-Seabrook and Keith both proved that they are top defensemen in this league while Hjalmarsson aced the defence and Campball proved that a 37 year old can score over 30 points.
- Crawford had another solid year with .918% sv.
The playoffs were tough with the nudging out the Predators in an injury-ridden series for both teams. Though Winnipeg proved too strong in the second round with Crawford showing signs of being tired. Panarin, Panik, Rieder, Toews and Kane all led the offense up-front but the only one breaking one point per game was the veteran Campbell with an amazing 10 points in 9 games!
"Both rounds were close but taking on two strong teams with our younger guys proving themselves is a great sign for the future. Hawks fans will have a lot to look forward to!"
F Marcus Foligno
G Jakub Kovar
G Machael Garnett
G Lars Johansson
D Tobias Viklund
F Brian Gionta
F Evgeny Chesalin
F Brandon Mashinter
F Jayson Megna
F Tuomo Ruutu
F Sakari Salminen
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