Even though they’re missing the depth that they enjoyed last season, there’s a playoff team sitting in the Chicago Blackhawks’ dressing room.

The team’s star players just need to step up and start taking control of games, and the remaining season.

“They’re just not as deep as they were [last season],” Chris Kuc, of the Chicago Tribune, said on the Danny Mac Show. “I think that people need to realize that. I think the team realizes that.”

LISTEN: Chris Kuc On The Danny Mac Show

Fans saw the big names be dealt over the offseason in order to get the team under the salary cap for this season. But there may have been an assumption among some Blackhawks’ fans that the replacements would be as effective as those players moving on.

“The chemistry might be there,” Kuc said. “But the talent level is not what it was last year. So therefore you need your stars to play like stars. And that’s why Joel Quenneville didn’t hesitate to say, ‘yeah, we need more out of Marian Hossa.’ This is a team that is just not as deep.”

While the depth is an issue, it’s not an excuse for the Blackhawks missing the playoffs. The third and fourth line might not be as talented as it was last year, but the top two lines on offense and defense still have players like Hossa, Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Duncan Keith and Brian Campbell, to name just a few.

“I do think that if you look at that dressing room and look around the league,” Kuc said. “This is a playoff team that’s not playing up to the level it should.”

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