The Stanley Cup playoffs start this week and the Blackhawks won’t be in them for the second straight season after doing so in the last nine years. And it doesn’t feel right in Chicago, a city that has been so accustomed to watching their team play.
But plenty happened in the 2018-19 campaign, which had a mid-season coaching change from the 2nd winningest NHL coach of all-time Joel Quenneville to 33-year-old rookie head coach Jeremy Colliton. The Blackhawks made progress over the season, but there’s still plenty of work to be done both roster-on the ice and roster-wise.
Here are the highlights from the exit interviews:
General manager Stan Bowman:
“We’re sad we’re not playing in the playoffs. This is why we do this. That’s the reason these men come and do their best to put our team in the postseason. We came up short this year. But the vibe is much different than it was a year ago.
I think we are clearing a path forward of how we’re going to do better next year, and just looking back on this season there’s been plenty that’s been going on with the new coach coming in and our team getting used to that. It took a little time, but when you look at the last few games we were playing at about a 100-point pace. That’s a very good chunk of the schedule. It’s not like a 10 or 12-game segment where we got hot.
Obviously, we look at the predictions for the past couple of years and like last year was sort of the low point we’re creating to where we are now and next year we want to be even higher. We’re on the correct path and there’s plenty of things to be enthusiastic about and some other things we have to improve and that’s our goal between now and training camp.”