Chicago Blackhawks: Going Inside the Training Camp

The Chicago Blackhawks missed the playoffs for the second consecutive season last year. For some strange reason, they decided to fire Joel Quenneville as the head coach during the middle of the season. It was not his fault that he didn’t have the personnel to succeed. Quenneville won three Stanley Cup Titles with the franchise.

Jeremy Colliton took over as the head coach. He did a decent job and Chicago was in the playoff mix at one point, but it was too much for them to overcome.

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It is mind-boggling how General Manager Stan Bowman is still around as the team’s general manager because he has not drafted well and it is one of the reasons why the Blackhawks are in this mess right now.

The biggest issue for this team has been over the past couple of years goaltending. Corey Crawford gets hurt constantly and even when he is healthy, Crawford doesn’t look very good. There are times that I ask myself how in the world did Chicago win in 2013 and 2015 with him as the starting netminder.

Corey Crawford will most likely not be the starting goalie heading into this season. Robin Lehner will most likely be the starting goalie after he played just for one season with the New York Islanders. Lehner only signed a one-year deal to play with Chicago in the offseason. It will be interesting to see how he performs after winning the Vezina Trophy last season.

Collin Delia might be the third goalie on this roster. Cam Ward was on the team last season and he decided to sign a one-day contract with the Carolina Hurricanes and retire as a member of that hockey club. Ward won a Stanley Cup Title with them as a rookie back in 2006. He also won the Conn Smythe Trophy that season.

The projected lines for this team this season will be Brandon SaadJonathan ToewsDylan Sikura, Alex DeBrincatDylan StromePatrick Kane, Dominik Kubalik-Zack SmithBrendan Perlini, and Ryan CarpenterDavid KampfAndrew Shaw.

The projected defensive pairings will be Duncan Keith and Erik Gustafsson, Calvin de Hann and Brent Seabrook, and Olli Maatta and Connor Murphy.

Some of the players that could potentially step up this season in case of injury will be Drake Caggiula, Alexander Nylander, Carl Dahlstrom, and Slater Koekkoek.

The Central Division will be very tough once again this season. Chicago could be better this season, but I don’t think they are at the level of the other teams yet.

The only thing going for them is that they will most likely not finish in last because the Minnesota Wild is most likely the worst team in the Central Division.

The Blackhawks won’t be a cupcake on the schedule this season. However, they may not be that difficult to beat either especially if the goaltending is sub-par once again.

A training camp date has not been announced yet. Chicago will begin the preseason on Monday, September 16 on the road against the Washington Capitals. The Chicago Blackhawks will begin the regular season on the road against the Philadelphia Flyers. That game starting at 1 p.m. on Friday, October 4. The game will take place in Prague, Czech Republic as part of the 2019 NHL Global Series.

Chicago will have its home opener on Thursday, October 10 against the San Jose Sharks.

How do you feel about the 2019 Chicago Blackhawks? Leave a comment below.

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Follow Glenn on Twitter @glennkaplan13.

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