Every season in sports teams have great stretches and poor stretches. The Blackhawks dominated the Colorado Avalanche for three periods and LOST the game. This has been the theme surrounding the Blackhawks recently. They have been losing games they won last season, especially in overtime. Last season the Blackhawks were 5-0 in overtime. This season they are 0-5 in overtime. The Blackhawks have not scored an overtime goal this season! The last Blackhawks overtime goal was scored in Game four of the 2012-13 Finals! With the Blackhawks struggling,( 4-1-5 in their last ten games) everyone is preaching patience. The message is that Blackhawks are in a slump and that they will come out of it, so there should be no reason to panic .
Being a true Chicagoan, I’m here to give people THREE REASONS WHY IT’S ALMOST TIME TO PANIC:
1. Their Goals allow against average: Last season the Blackhawks goals against average was 2.28. They allowed 106 goals in 48 games which was good for second in the league last season. This season they have allowed 135 goals in 49 games. There goals against average is 2.75 this season. There goals against is good for 19th in the NHL. The last team in the NHL to win the Stanley Cup with an average to below average goals against average was the 2008-09 Pittsburgh Penguins, which ranked 18th in the NHL in goals against that season. The 2009-2010 Blackhawks were fifth in goals against average, 2010-2011 Boston Bruins were third, and the 2011-2012 La Kings were second. This is an alarming Stats for the Blackhawks at this point in the season..
2. The ineffectiveness of the Penalty Kill: The Blackhawks have not been good on the Penalty Kill all season long. Last night was a prime example of how the PK is hurting the Blackhawks. There PK percentage is 76.39%. The league average is 81.77%. The Blackhawks are a below average Penalty Killing team. Last season they were 85.71 on the PK, while the league average last year was 81.71 on the PK. The numbers don’t lie, Blackhawks were EXPECTIONAL on the PK last season and this season they are bad! This is an alarming stat, because since 1999 until the present only the 2005-06 Carolina Hurricanes were below the league average PK team to win the Stanley Cup. They were at 81.80 and the league average was 82.32. No team since 1999 has won the Stanley Cup with a PK below 81! To reiterate my point, it is hard to win the Stanley Cups if you don’t kill penalties well!
3. The Division Record: The Blackhawks have struggled against their own division this season. This season the Blackhawks are 9-6-3 against the central division. They are 0-1-2 against The St. Louis Blues who trail them by two points and have four games in hand. They are 1-2 against the Wild and the Avalanche. The Blackhawks are a combined 2-3-2 against the other top teams in the Central. The Blues, Wild, and Avalanche should make the playoffs out the Central Division. With the new playoff format this season, the Blackhawks could be in real trouble come playoff time. In the new playoff format, The second and third teams of each division will play in the first round of playoffs which at the current rate could create a 1st round matchup between the Hawks and last night’s opponent the Av’s.
If the Blackhawks are to defend their title and become the first team since the Red Wings of the late 90’s, they need to correct all three of these issues. The Sooner the Better so panic and the threat of panic can disappear.