Official: No Playoffs For The Chicago Blackhawks – Again

On Tuesday evening the Colorado Avalanche defeated the Edmonton Oilers 6-2.

The result officially eliminates the Chicago Blackhawks from the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs. This marks the second consecutive season Chicago won’t participate in the postseason.

The next date on the calendar that matters to Hawks fans is April 9 – the 2019 NHL Draft lottery.

38 thoughts on “Official: No Playoffs For The Chicago Blackhawks – Again

  1. Please get rid of Bowman he has for the last 2 seasons built this team into a losing franchise. He has no since of hockey talent.

  2. Draft and develop the only way for long term success. The Hawks have a chance to walk away with two blue chip prospects in the upcoming draft.

  3. A definite defensive mess to clean up. Decisions to make. Soon.

    We will know what manglement is thinking by the way they do the draft and free agency. Are we aggressive at the draft? I think so, and will be disappointed if we aren’t. We need to upgrade both forwards and defense with the offseason, not just hire some placeholders. I think most everyone here agrees to that, and as expected, we vary a bit on how. But we all seem to agree we need some new blood brought in from outside the organization to help us grow some good looking talent in the system.

    Stan, you are on the clock. Tick tock.

  4. Gawlik, I was highly critical of Bowman a couple of years ago but he has since made some good trades, especially during this season. His FA signings have not been so good (except for Panarin long ago and now Kahun). It’s easy to say he should be fired but you better have an upgrade to replace him. The Blackhawks were given high marks for last year’s draft. Our system is vastly improved, with good quality coming up in the next three years. I say to wait until after the draft and free agency, and then reassess.

  5. Well at least now it’s official. It’s not like it wasn’t expected. Yeah it sucks to wallow in the valley after spending so many of the past years on or near the mountain top. It happens and was inevitable. The salary cap system is designed to do exactly what the Hawks are experiencing. The vagaries of human interaction and fortune can nibble around the edges but the system will cause the desired effect to one degree or another. The objective is to not get mired in a downward or stagnant trajectory and from my view it seems like the Hawks have reversed and are now trending upward.

    I don’t think the Hawks are that far away from first becoming a playoff team and then becoming a Cup contender. I think they may already have what they need on the forward and as long as Crawford stays healthy I think they’re OK in the net. The defense is one or two players away but that can be remedied over the next season or two. Having the players go through a training camp with Colliton should have a positive effect on the overall team cohesiveness, especially team defense. With Colliton’s 2nd year he should feel less beholding to old core players and what we saw with him taking Keith off the #1 PP unit – we should see more of those changes as Colliton is more free to run his team as he wants without having to worry about stepping on toes.

    I’m going to enjoy these last 3 games as it will be the last time we get to see our Hawks on the ice for a long time.

  6. Perfect photo of Stan. Can’t wait for him to talk about how well they are positioned for a draft pick…blah…blah…blah.

  7. EB i hope your right about Colliton, no doubt he will have a successful career but i have reservations about whether or not he has honed his craft enough to be a cup winning coach at this point. Hope i’m wrong and have to say so.

  8. What areas does anybody feel this team showed significant improvement over a year ago. Crawford back in goal playing elite, but behind him still lots to be answered. Defense, enough been said on that. Offense 88 and 19 big years and 12 and 17 provided some scoring support. PP improved when Barry Smith brought in but both offensive areas disappeared when important stretch games arrived. Still questions to be answered. PK regressed if anything and bottom 6 still tbd, hopefully answers will be there by bext year.

  9. Improved PP for sure, but as you said, regression on the PK. Toews and Kane brought their A games; did all they could. Saad, DeBrincat amazing years as well. Do like Strome trade after all.

    Lack of D and goaltending hurt this team. Crow being concussed was unfortunate. It’s also a team very easy to play against. No toughness whatsoever. Stan wiffed on his “future state of hockey” roster.

  10. This isn’t just two years of not making the playoffs. It’s two years of getting bounced in the first round and two years of not qualifying at all. That’s FOUR YEARS of FAILURE. Dale Tallon’s team won three Cups. The Bowmans’ teams won nothing. Trading away the Breadman and Hammer will go down as all time blunders. I remember last year the posters saying, “Just wait until Sakura gets here.” Boy he sure carried us to the promised land didn’t he? Wise up, people. There are no saviors in the wings. Highly rated drafts don’t win Cups. There isn’t a first paring D on the roster. 56 is fantastic in the O zone but gives up three goals for every one he scores. 2 is toast. 7 is a pylon. 5 has “skyrocketed” from a seventh D to a fifth D. I’m very sorry to have to say it but this team (meaning this core) will NEVER contend for a Cup.

  11. Crow playing elite? You know they keep stats on goal tenders? You should check them out. Just because Pat and Eddie say he’s elite doesn’t make him elite.

  12. Trip I agree on the toughness issue. Board battles cost us all year long because they checked with their sticks instead of with heavy body checks. If you run a guy the next time you go in he will have that in the back of his mind. Not calling for dirty hits but good hard checks that eliminate the player from that play. This team needs more grit, it would help the D a lot also. Just my rant for the day.

  13. Pity ,…we have a lot of growing and spaces to fill on this roster for sure , With toughness and some better D men high on our repair list i hope .

    We ended the year right where we were at game 30 …not in the playoffs…no big surprise . Just because Stan says were are a playoff team does not mean we are ,hes as full of shit as any other g.m. praying to the hockey gods .

    At lease 2 more years before we are close to being good …and the clock ticks on our Core .

  14. Roller Coaster season with some bright spots, and ugly marks for sure!
    Management has snowed us the last few years but let’s be realistic- without a better bottom 6, 2-3 strong, large and consistent D, a healthy CC and a reliable backup Hawks will struggle to get to the playoffs and certainly the “Cup” is a distant dream. You only have to look at the other western conference teams and see their strength!
    Kudos to Jane and Toews- what a year! DCat as well- Strome May be a positive wildcard next year! 20 heading in the right direction…
    Bowman needs to go, and maybe McDonough- they just don’t get it!
    Here’s to 2019/20!!

  15. Yea, agree Earl. No NHL team wins (especially in the playoffs) without some toughness/grit and size. The rink isn’t large enough to envision Stan’s brand of hockey. Like you said, don’t want a bunch of goons, rather players who can wear down the other team’s D. Make them think about going into the corner again. Make them turn the puck over. Playing against the Hawks seems simple – play a hard style on them and they will make mistakes.

    As much as I’m excited to see Beaudin and Bovquist, they lack size. Joker isn’t that physical either. Looking at that Winnipeg lineup – you have Wheeler, Scheifele Laine… then their D has Buff, Trouba and Myers. Again there is skill among that lot, so I sympathize that size + skill is hard to find. However, that’s the job of the GM and scout team.

  16. The only thing I know for sure is that there is more to be optimistic about going into next year, than this. This is a team in the middle pack that needs help/work to get into true playoff contention. Legitimate Cup contender-no but only a few teams really are. No reason for 88 and 19 to be less effective next year, but 2 or 3 years from now? Who knows. Crawford’s future contribution is a question mark as well.

    Totally agree with the need to be tougher to play against, but that is both a personnel and a team style issue.

    London vs. Guelph will have two possible Hawk pieces playing against each other. Starts Friday.

  17. Question for the board: Should a coach make adjustments to his system that fit his personnel, or should management adjust personnel to fit the coach’s system? To me, this is how a team is built. Answering “A little of both” is a copout, though possibly the best answer. What was done in the past 5 years in Chicago? What was done at the start of the cup run?

    What is a coach’s system and how can we determine it? Do we try to impart our system on the rest of the division/conference, or do we adapt to what the other teams are doing?

  18. Great questions SS- I think you have to, as a management team, look around the league and see who is winning, and why (including the coach!)?! Next see if you have the TALENT (size, speed, skill) to compete with the top 20% of the teams! Then look at your roster, farm system, draft etc and see where the “level of compete” holes are at all positions. Then assess if your coach can do his job at “the level required” NOT the level he is at. Film the holes matching talent to salary cap.
    Great players can play almost any system- it dies take the right amount of teaching, mentoring, motivating to get the whole team bought in… bottom line, a lot of variables but TALENT ( players and coaches) trumps system. I think the jury is still out on Colliton- but look who is coaching/ mentoring him?! STAN!!

  19. SS that is normally a question you hear when the coach is fired, you can’t fire all the players so coach goes. A good coach develops a system to play to the strength of his players. If the gap between his system and what the players have the assets to do, is too big then the GM hired the wrong guy in my world.
    One wish for next season a reliable partner for Keith, he deserves it. Gus is a great QB for pp and role player, to spark offense when chasing a lead but not as a night in night out 23 or 24 min top pair guy. On the normal 5 on 5 situations him and Seabrook can play 3rd pair mins next year maybe.

  20. We can agree to disagree. And really neither wins you a Cup-but the bottom feeder gets the top few picks in the draft. So some might say it’s be better to be a bottom feeder.

  21. @Silent Spot
    I’ll try to answer your question without delving into the copout territory.

    I think Colliton has a vision for the team (and I hope it’s his vision and not “too” unduly influenced by Bowman and McDonough, although a GM should certainly direct operations and bring in the right people). Let’s assume that Colliton was brought in to bring in a style that is more competitive and more player friendly, as a young coach who can supposedly relate to the changing NHL.

    I think that Colliton had the tough task of trying to take an existing roster that wasn’t going to change dramatically in the short term, and impose his vision on it for the short term. This year, IMO, was about bringing about a culture change and system that befits Colliton’s vision. Therefore, the answer to your question, in the short term reality, is neither. I’ll give Colliton credit in that he pretty much said “here’s what the team needs to do to be successful, and they aren’t doing these things, but we’re going to play this season out and try to get better”.

    NOW, going forward I think the Blackhawks have no choice but to adapt to the coach’s system. And being a young coach I think he’s in tune with what they need to do and how to try and attract and teach young players how to achieve desired goals. I am and will forever be a huge huge huge Quenneville fan. But I have to be realistic and state that when the Blackhawks did what Colliton said they needed to do, they were pretty darn successful. Of course, I will temper that last statement by saying that Colliton’s main message could have been construed as “Hockey 101”.

    So, going forward I think that it is Bowman’s job to give his coach every opportunity to succeed within the system said Coach wants to employ. The upside is that there has been improvement on the debacle that was the Fall of 2018. I think Colliton has gotten through to the players to some degree and the Quenneville era is really pretty much a thing of the past. This coach needs to do things his way, with full support from Bowman and McDonough and Blunk and Wirtz to have a huge say in dictating what HE needs to lead the organization on the ice. I think if you bring in a coach, you have to give him what he needs. Otherwise, the team is at the mercy of philosophies and decisions solely based on business guys whose efforts are not “on the ice” with the team on a personal level day in and day out.

    That’s my take. Willing to take abuse for it :) . Offseason is huge for absolutely everybody involved in this organization.

    Go Blackhawks!!!!!

  22. I would think the “Tallon’s team” meme would have slowly faded away by now considering that the great Tallon has had more years steering the team in Florida than he did in Chicago and yet … Florida hasn’t won the Cup with Tallon at the helm. How can that be?

    To those Tallon sycophants – at least acknowledge Mike Smith contributed and as hard as it is for to to do – admit Stan Bowman contributed too.

  23. @ Big Indian, I think you’re pretty much right on. I will only add that the coach has a hard limitation by the players he has. He can influence playing style and hold players accountable but ultimately it comes down to whether he has the horses or not. If what appears to be is true – that the players have bought into him – then the same group of players can improve with a training camp. However, improved play from the same group of players may get the Hawks into the playoffs but probably not as a legitimate Cup contender. For that, they need to replace a few of the old nags with some stud race horses.

  24. Envision we are in Toronto, Montreal, or Calgary where hockey is not a sport but a religion. If the scenario we have in Chicago was played out in those Canadian cities. Tallon fired by Mcdounut who brought in Bowman etc. Players and management Would be chased down the street by men with torches seeking FRANKENSTEIN. lol

  25. Big I, if this was a total rebuild from square one, would agree with your take and quite possibly be a success. When you have a core group who lead dynasty to 3 cups being told the way they play isn’t right or good enough, not sure it works. Colliton needs to prove his desire to win is every bit as passionate as the leaders on the team, as Q was able to show, to win their full committment and not sure the players believe that about Colliton. Bowman influencing who plays decisions doesn’t help either.

  26. ER, excellent post about Tallon. Let’s not forget most of his first round picks: Beach, Olsen, Barker, and Skille. He also presented Bowman with the major handicap of exceeding the cap. Bowman never had the benefit of drafting #3 and #1.

    Bowman rolled the dice too many times by trading picks for rentals, which is why our system was badly depleted of talent until the past two years. I have posted many times that to his credit, Bowman matched Doug Wilson’s offer sheet for Hjalmarsson and let Niemi walk. In addition to Tallon not coming close to making it to the finals in Florida, look at Wilson’s record. Can you imagine what Blackhawks fans would be saying after 16 years and no cup?

  27. So had Bowman been trying to give Q the players that Q wanted in the off-season (and in-season trades), or was Bowman trying to change/influence the direction/philosophy of the play? There was a lot of discussion that the players signed last off-season were “tank” players instead of upgrades to the team. How do we assess those moves and the motivation behind them? Go back even to signings like Rundblad and Kempny and how little they got used in their time here. How about the Vermette signing, the center many felt we needed, but he spent time in the press box and playing wing instead of center? How do we square those signings with our GM/Coach relationship, or who should be held accountable for the use of those players? Were they forced on the coach and he didn’t think they fit, a decision made by both that apparently didn’t work, or even the coach asking for that type player and the GM got the wrong guys?

    In some way I would hope they were moves intended to help the team and could be justified. Who should be in control?

    My opinion to Carl – I think Toronto did everything the right way as they transitioned to their new team a few years back. They were up front with the fans, the media and the players. And then they did as they said they were going to do. It appears to me that they had a bit too much success and now will be forced to make some really tough decisions. I know a team that could use some of their trimmings, and it is in a different division and conference than Toronto!

  28. I won’t fault Stan on the pressure of the cap in the NHL and with wins comes inflated offers to players that you simply can’t match. You also have the fans and media to deal with if they let a Kane or Toews walk. The media would have also come down on Stan if he didn’t make trades to keep the Cup contention real.

    That said, my issue with Stan is his press conference at the end of the 2017 season when Nashville swept the Hawks in the first round of the playoffs. He said that it was unacceptable and that he’ll ensure this team is going to go much further next year – something to that effect. It wasn’t a re-build message. He then backtracked and his backtracking had a considerable amount of arrogance to it. “hey, this takes time” — not the message he said before.

  29. Well said Orvil. By the way, cap era does not prevent you from drafting goalies, dmen, centers or winger prospects. He drafted Teuvo, Danault and Schmaltz but then trades them. Ok, but what about all the other picks??? Where are they???
    Great bounce back seasons by Kane, Toews, Saad, Keith, Seabs and Crow! DCat did his usual scoring goals like he did last season. Strome (although Schmaltz was not the problem and I think could have had assists on every Dcat goal as well) produced on PP. 56 had a good start and continued his offensive style of play.
    So, who was the big disappointment?
    Bowman! He is to blame for hiding behind the Cap excuse all these years. The Caps, the Pens, the Sharks, the Bruins, the Preds, the Bolts, everyone has to deal with the cap. Thus, you need to draft well especially in the first 3 rounds to stay significant. He has two players of impact that he drafted on this roster (not Dalhstrom or another dud in Gilbert playing tonight). No forwards in the pipeline.
    He needs to own up to his mistakes as a GM. He fired a Hall of fame coach for JC? The list is endless! Maybe Q who coaches to win was not has efficient either with his lines this season but when you are given Bouma, Wingels, Franson, Osterle, Kunitz, Ward, Kampf, Kruger, Kahun , Sikura, Hayden, not much anyone can do. And when you trade away Panarin and the Hammer (fire the coaches best friend in Mike Kitchen) for no reason but to flex your tiny muscles, then he needs to be accountable.
    If he thought a 24 year old 6th round pick who weighs 160 pounds and is not that fast can out score Anthony Duclair and Vinny H, he needs to explain why?
    Feel for 88 and 19 who needed this season to get back in the playoffs. Instead of paying Rutta, Manning, and Ward nall that money, he could have traded for Hoffman or signed a real top 6 free agent.
    Let’s see what Stan’s excuse is. The coach? the vets? the Cap?

  30. It doesnt happen overnight.

    When your not deep and waiting/because you have to, it better to have two yrs of tank ufas to get top 5/10 quality blue chip players. When you can.

    Its the only way to reload while having a dynasty, not just win Cup once. BOS is the only top 5 team in last 10 yrs, so far/were doing it now, to reload after being a top 3/5 team for a few yrs and then going to bottom 1/3 of league. Look at DET, VAN, BOS, LA, ANA, STL these 10 yrs they were there and only BOS has reloaded and STL stayed out of bottom 10 because of a bunch of summer adds.

    Now Bowman and crew need to add what we need this summer or else there is a problem.

  31. Craig, thats right and why it was impoertant to have two season like we did to get top 5/10 picks. Thats the only way to reload after salary cap.

    Were on our way back to top 5 team again. 2 yrs and some seasoning.

    Getting 4 blue chip draft players these 2 yrs, not 2, is Huge and needed to reload.

    Also need to add good ufas now. No more tank ufas. We have the cap space, even with certain players raises, to add what we need.

    It will happen fast and these two transition yrs are finally over. It upside and upside from here on.

  32. Tazer and Kaner are not going to need to have as good of yrs/stats wise when were deep again. Just be good players and the roster will be deep quality deep. Dunks should be fine. Crow is the question, hes still a top goalie but were going to need to get another goalie at some point in these 7 yrs coming up. Thomas won when he was 40, Crow can. Deep roster is the key.

    This yrs team, which is the roster from game 30-80, is a mid pack team but we want top 5 or top 5/10 pick. Thats what we did these two yrs.

    We did exactly what we needed to do to reload the best way these two yrs. Now its time to add add add add as the blue chip prospects come in each yr and were deep again.

  33. All of the above makes sense, sometimes you need to relaod but the fact remains that as an organization, you are drafting like everyone else and to have nothing of any real value as forwards in Rockford is not Coach Q’s fault, nor Mike Kitchen nor Kaner nor Keith nor Toews nor Crawford, someone is responisble for that and for the pro scouting that leads to useless washed up free agent signings. It will not be easy to rebuild without 2 more top six forwards next season. Drafting 4 dmen the last two seasons who are very skilled but hugely undersized is questionable when we lack wingers. Not saying those players are not potential NHLers but 2 of those should have been forwards. We have two very skilled undersized forwards in Kane and the Cat. Next season, we can carry Cagg on a 3rd line but the Sikura and Kahun experiment is over. Too small, not blazing fast and no shot. So, these two players should not be on the roster next season. Maybe Kahun as a forth line winger but he loses too many puck battles. Dissappeared after game 25. Hayden has no hockey IQ and will be out of hockey in 2 years or in the ECHL. Big off season for Bowman otherwise I don’t see why he deserves to be the GM of this team moving forward.

  34. Good points.

    We need both D and FW. Does it matter which we get first at draft. D do take longer to get established and we needed more D then FW, per say.

    Now thats fine, if Bowman and crew follow through and get whats left to get.

    This draft, the trades at draft and summer are essential for Bowman and Crew to do this. Everyone agrees and knows this, even Bowman and crew do to.

    One thing is we do not have to get every player this summer, but at least a lot of them so it doesnt look/feel like Bowman did nothing, again.

    I think the tank ufas were by design and that is pretty fukking genius.

  35. Maybe some of the FW we have been getting recently will be good players.

    Also when we had staked teams in 2010 and 2103, maybe not 2013 we only made one add I remember, but 2010 we added that yr-ufas, didnt have every player before that yr.

    So I am not closing the book on 19 and 88 till their 40 old, and with a deep roster they can win when their 40. They will be better from 30-35 then 35-40, just like 20-30.

    What I mean though is, its going to get exciting again because we are reloading and will be a top team again. Just want to make sure were top 5 and not this middle 10-20 team wash.

    The Four Horsemen, even small fast and skilled, might be the key to it. Who knows. They could be dang impressive and ehat we needed. But we do need D and FW, so I do not mind when or how we get them, just get them and that time is right around the corner after two yrs of transition and stocking top 5/10 draft players, that also come with 35th pick players.

  36. Yeah rough ending. But this team has played way way better the 2nd half. Like a contender? No. Like a playoff team? Yes.

    I’m very thankful Bowman didn’t chase a pipe dream at the deadline when we won like 7 straight. To his credit he kept his assets. That’s just as important as the trades he made this year.

    This off-season is big. Unless a trade involves flipping any of our 6 third pair D, then I’m hesitant. UFAs are almost always overpaid. Hoping for RFA offer sheets, more Stromes and Perlinis on the team, and Kubalik. Then we can afford the RFAs we want to keep next off-season, when the horsemen come up.

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