In the 2016-17 season playoffs, the Blackhawks were swept in the first-round. That's right, they didn't even make it to the second round. This was hard to believe for many people. Now, it seems to look like they may not even make it to the playoffs. The fans have not been too vocal as of late, and for some, it looks like they will soon be joining another bandwagon.
Now, in the 2017-18 season, the Blackhawks aren't doing too hot. As of March 8th, the Blackhawks are sitting at the first lowest percentage of teams for making the playoffs, excluding teams sitting at 0%. The Hawks have lost more games than they have won, and have lost more games this season than last season.
This could be due to Corey Crawford being on injured reserved since December 27, 2017. Crawford is without a doubt their best goalie. His save percentage is .929%. The goalies who have stepped into to take over Crawford's spot are J-F Berube and Anton Forsberg. Berube has a save percentage of .884% and Forsberg has a save percentage of .906%. These percentages were recorded on March 5, 2018, so keep that in mind.
As you can tell from those stats, these numbers are not close whatsoever. Crawford has an advantage of more than .023% compared to Forsberg. You still can't blame The Blackhawks poor games on Crawford being gone. Key players, Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, have not been playing up to their usual status. For instance, in the last five games, as of March 5th, Kane has only recorded five points. He has only had one goal out of those points. As for Toews, he has only recorded three points with one of those being a goal. These numbers are unusual for these players.
These small numbers could be a cause of what is holding the Blackhawks back. As they currently sit at a .14% chance of making the playoffs on March 8th, their 9 years of making the playoffs are coming to an end. This is surprising because the Blackhawks received key players from past years when they were winning The Stanley Cup.
Another reason for why the Blackhawks are not doing too well right now could be the way they are playing. The Blackhawks lost 8 games in a row in February. This is almost unimaginable due to the way they played their games at the beginning of the season. Again, could this all be due to the loss of Crawford? Possibly, but if this is a vital loss, plays should be changed. Ways of protecting the goal should be well thought out. The goalie should not be the only one in charge of keeping pucks out of the net.
With all of this being said, the future of the Blackhawks could be in trouble. A team who was once known as a dynasty is now becoming a team that is rarely talked about in a positive way. Fans are seeming to be quiet as the season is dwindling down. The team has a possibility of getting the golf clubs out soon instead of getting ready for the playoffs.