The Chicago Blackhawks needed urgency and drive in order to win Game 6, which is the approach the Hawks took. Coming out with fire in the first period, outshooting the Phoenix Coyotes 16-2. All looked well for a Game 7 back in Glendale.
Unfortunately, things went downhill from there.
Despite the Blackhawks' domination in the game, a derailing in the third period contributed to a 4-0 loss, sending the Coyotes to their first conference semifinal appearance since relocating to the desert.
Dealt with the Blackhawks' second consecutive first round exit, there are a lot of things to sort out this summer.
When Blackhawks General Manager Stan Bowman had a busy offseason last year—with moves made to resign Corey Crawford and Michael Frolik, and acquiring other players such as veterans Jamal Mayers and Andrew Brunette—all looked well for Chicago entering the fall. But with almost all of their offseason acquisitions proving to be disappointments, along with their trade deadline acquisitions (notably defenseman Johnny Oduya and forward Brendan Morrison) the Hawks need to reconsider what they need. And what they need, is quite a bit.
The Blackhawks are left with a need for a power forward, a puck-moving defenseman and obviously the currently unattainable need of a goaltender, since Ray Emery was resigned by the team. Left without a role player and solid defense, watch for the Hawks to be busy. With notable unrestricted free agents on the market, such as Nashville's defenseman Ryan Suter, or possibly even New Jersey's star forward Zach Parise, the Hawks must at least consider going after a big name player on the market, just as they were successful with a few years ago with Marian Hossa.
However, free agency can't be the only method of gain this summer. With plenty of cap room, the Hawks may make many trades, possibly including Patrick Kane if other teams were interested in giving up an equivalent, such as Anaheim's Corey Perry being a possibility.
With many things to fix this offseason, the Blackhawks are left with an early summer, and one to reconsider what they have and what they need in order to become Stanley Cup contenders once again. But until October, Chicago hockey is over. Hopefully, it comes back with fire.