Blackhawks Midseason Update
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With the NHL season past the All-star break, playoffs are just around the corner. With playoffs inching closer and closer, the rankings become increasingly important.
The Blackhawks are currently sitting in third in their division, the last spot to make the playoffs. Nashville and St. Louis currently sit in front of the Hawks with with a comfortable lead of a 3-point spread between St. Louis and the Hawks. Since the All-Star Break the Hawks haven’t been doing too hot with a 5-4-1 record in their last 10 games played. If the Hawks do get bumped down to fourth,hey will have to win the wild card game and if they win that, they will be faced with playing the first place team in the Central Division in the first round of playoffs.
Recently, the Hawks have had the challenge of bringing players up from their minor league team, the Rockford IceHogs, and trying to fit those players into a line up that’s so dynamically set. Kris Versteeg, a Blackhawks winger out with a broken hand, gave Hawks future all-star Teuvo Teravainen the perfect opportunity to prove himself to the Blackhawks organization. In 15 starts this year, Teravainen has posted 2 goals and two assists. For a young promising player these are good statistics to see knowing he will only grow more as he becomes more comfortable in the NHL. Defenseman Trevor Van Riemsdyk was still out and recovering from knee surgery early in the season, which gave another young promising player, David Rundblad, a chance to also show what he is capable of. Rundblad’s play style fits the Hawks perfectly with a fast pace, high-intensity, give it your all type of mentality. Rundblad isn’t the type of player to tally big goal or assist numbers, but he is currently ranked 18th in the league in +/-. For a player filling a spot for an injured starter, the Hawks couldn’t ask for a better performance.
There is a lot of hockey still yet to play, things can change and only time will tell what happens in the NHL. My prediction for the Hawks at this point in the season is that they will drop down to fourth because Winnipeg is doing really well lately and the Hawks haven’t been doing well lately. The Hawks will win the wild card game, but not get past the first round of playoffs.