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Insider

Why the Blackhawks are vulnerable

The Blackhawks are once again atop the Western Conference, but trouble looms ahead. Chase Agnello-Dean/NHLI via Getty Images

The Chicago Blackhawks are off to a hot start, with a 15-6-3 record, and their three Stanley Cup victories in the past seven seasons make them the closest team to a dynasty in the salary cap era. Despite that tremendous success, Chicago is vulnerable and can be knocked off their perch atop the Western Conference.

Chicago's top-line talent may be unmatched, but with all the cap space that is invested in a few core players, the underfunded depth lines can be outplayed by the abundance of exceptional teams in the Central division, especially when injuries hit or when the Blackhawks are playing shorthanded.

This vulnerability is revealed by the team's mediocrity in virtually every statistical category, including both shot-based and goal-based data. What will happen to the Blackhawks when their obscene .953 save percentage at 5-on-5 comes crashing back down to average?