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The Devils Show the Blackhawks Why a Patient Rebuild Takes Precedence

Thought to be Stanley Cup contenders, the Devils have struggled and may completely miss the playoffs. It’s a strong lesson for the building Blackhawks

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The Chicago Blackhawks may be amongst the worst teams in the league but that was expected coming into the season. This rebuild is going exactly the way you’d think it would when it comes to the standings.

Being in last place by design is one thing. It is easy for the fanbase to get behind, especially when you have a player like Connor Bedard to build around. However, it is never fun to have a lost season when you were expected to be a Stanley Cup contender. That is exactly what is happening to the New Jersey Devils right now. Due to injury trouble, odd coaching (at times), and horrific goaltending, they put themselves in a position to be on the outside looking in for the playoffs.

The bubble teams in the Eastern Conference don’t have a team that pulled away as everyone seems to be allergic to the playoffs this year. The Devils, arguably the most talented of the bunch, had a chance to get within three points of the second Wild Card on Friday night.

After taking a 2-0 lead in the game against the Buffalo Sabres, things were looking good. However, Tage Thompson scored a natural hat trick for the Buffalo Sabres and they ended up winning 5-2. The playoff hopes for New Jersey are now as low as they’ve been all season.

Blackhawks Can Learn from the Devils’ Woes

This is something that the Chicago Blackhawks and their fans need to learn from. Nothing is guaranteed in this league. New Jersey was one of the best teams in the NHL during the 2022-23 season. They were young, fast, and dynamic. Everyone thought that they’d come into 2023-24 as legitimate Stanley Cup contenders.

Things don’t always go according to plan. The Blackhawks very well could go through something similar. Connor Bedard and his teammates may have a spark over the next few years but that doesn’t mean that the rebuild will be over. There are all sorts of factors (like we’re seeing with New Jersey) that could make it far more challenging than any Hawks fan hopes.

This doesn’t mean that rebuilds don’t work. With some adjustments to their issues this off-season, the Devils will be right back in contention. The Blackhawks are a few years behind but already have a few young stars drafted in the top ten. If the Hawks learn from the Devils that there are going to be ups and downs in the coming years, they will finish off the rebuild with sustained success without overreacting to any bumps in the road.

General manager Kyle Davidson has shown himself to be very smart in his brief tenure.

New Jersey is teaching him a valuable lesson.

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