Bad Luck of the Blackhawks

By Ethan Carey, Staff Writer

For the last year and a half, the Chicago Blackhawks have been underperforming by a large margin and it is very easy to see how fans are a little more than disappointed in their team. After a clean sweep last year during the first round of the playoffs, it has only gone downhill from there and is easy to argue problems starting to arise as early as the 2016-2017 season. The last two seasons have been filled with season-ending injuries, players and coaches leaving, and overall bad luck has placed the team last in their division.

Arguably the biggest reason to the Hawks downfall has been the loss of star players and even the head coach, Joel Quinneville, who was fired by the team midway through the 2018-2019 season. Jeremy Colliton was selected to lead the team after the firing but so far, he hasn’t done much as the team’s record is 10-23 and many people including myself, believe the firing of Quinneville was a huge mistake for the team to do mid-season. It should have been at least halted until the end of the season where they could have had a better look and discussion about this huge decision.

One of if not the biggest negative impact on the team has been the loss of star players due to injury or trade in the last two years. The biggest of that by far has been Blackhawks goalie, Corey Crawford, who has suffered two concussions in the last two seasons prompting much talk if he will ever return to play hockey again. The first concussion struck during a game in December 2017, where he was pulled after allowing four goals and placed on the injured reserve with no explanation until a couple days later.

December 23 would be the last game Crawford played in until October of 2019. This injury struck him hard where he suffered from post-concussion syndrome and affected his everyday life for the next several months and many people were worried he might not return. Crawford however, though different and returned to the ice on Oct. 18, 2018, making 27 saves on a loss to the Arizona Coyotes. It wasn’t much longer until Crawford suffered from his second concussion in two seasons where his head hit the goal post during a collision during the first period of a game on Dec. 16, 2018 raising the question and talk on if it is for his own physical and mental health that Crawford hangs the skates up for good this time.

Other star players being traded or injured throughout the last few seasons has no doubt played a huge role in the terrible season they have had this year. Players such as Scott Darling, Artemi Panerin, and Niklas Hjalmarsson played huge roles in the success of the Chicago Blackhawks and when fans heard the news of them being traded away, they knew it was only a matter of time before the team’s success spiraled out of control.

With the season just past the midway point and the playoffs no where near in sight at the moment, this season will mark a huge turning point for the team and hopefully for the better as many new things need to be discussed and figured out during the off-season for this potentially great team to get back on course and return to their 2013-2016 selves again. With all trades and injuries in the past, I’m still a strong believer in the Hawks on how they should be able to turn things around for the next season and hopefully having another Stanley Cup added to the list sometime in the next few years.