UA-59049186-1 Jets 4, Blackhawks 1 - Good if it Goes

Jets 4, Blackhawks 1

The Blackhawks ended their season with a game like so many others this year. They got outplayed, got questionable goaltending, and just weren’t really in it. The Hawks have been officially eliminated for a while and were unofficially eliminated long before that, so the stakes weren’t super high here, but it still would have been nice for Patrick Sharp’s last game to go better than this.

So that’s it for this season. If I haven’t written 300 of these things at this point, it’s pretty close. I don’t know if this is the most unpleasant one I’ve written, but if it’s not, it’s second only to the game 7 loss to St. Louis two years ago. It’s probably second because there was a sense of just kind of going through the motions the last couple weeks of the season and while I’ll miss watching the games over the summer, I’m ready for the offseason so the team can try to fix what was broken. Which brings us to the news that Q and Bowman are staying. After a tough season like this one, it’s understandable to want change. I can’t say I wouldn’t at least consider making at least one change, but I can understand why at the end of the day, John McDonough gave the two the chance to fix what went wrong. I think that chance was well-earned. With quality goaltending, I think this team can be okay. The defense needs to be addressed, though I don’t think the situation is quite as dire as it looks on paper. Duncan Keith is still a legit top pair guy. He made some bad plays this year, but given that he still looks up to the task physically, I think a good chunk of those plays can be chalked up to knowing he can’t trust his goalie and trying to do too much. That seems more likely than the mental side of his game falling off way harder than the physical side. Seabrook played well lately, though I still wish he was making a lot less money. He’s lost a step and I’m not sure he’s a top pair guy on a Cup-winning team unless that team has superb goaltending and can score a ton. Gustafsson looks like he can be serviceable. Maybe a second pair guy next year. Forsling is fine on the bottom pair as is Murphy, though for the money he’s making, you want more from him than that. The team has plenty of forward depth and should have at least little cap flexibility. Now it’s up to Bowman to do something with that. I’ll do a more thorough season wrap-up later, probably after the playoffs end and there’s nothing going on in football, and of course, updates if there are any moves made. For now, I’ll leave you by echoing the great Pat Foley and saying that I hope you enjoyed the blogs in spite of the outcome. Follow me on Twitter @KSchroeder_312. And congratulations to Edzo on beating cancer.

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