A Statistical Look Back at the 2013-2014 Chicago Blackhawks Defensemen

By Brian Kinkade
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Jun 19, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook (7) celebrates with defenseman Duncan Keith (2) after scoring the game-winning goal against the Boston Bruins during the overtime period in game four of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Michael Ivins-USA TODAY Sports

(All Corsi and statistics are in reference to extraskater.com)

In case you missed it, here is yesterday’s statistical look at the 2013-2014 Chicago Blackhawks forwards.

After the smoke has settled on the disappointing end to a great season, for the 2013-2014 Chicago Blackhawks, we are left here sorting through the pieces as we look back at the 2013-2014 campaign.

That “sorting” is more like evaluating.  Evaluating what went right, what went wrong, and where the Hawks can and should look to improve.

Here we will evaluate the statistics of the individual players on the 2013-2014 Hawks.  We will look at the typical goals, assists, and points, as well as Corsi For Percentage.  Specifically speaking, we will look at Corsi For Percentage, in 5-0n-5 situations, when the score was close.

For those who do not know, Corsi, it is basically a more accurate +/- rating.  A Corsi event is any type of shot attempt.  This includes: shots on goal, shots missed, and shots blocked.  The thinking here is that for a team to have a Corsi event means that at that moment, that team had moved the puck into their opponents defensive zone and was able to make an attempt to score a goal.  Whether they scored or didn’t score does not matter, since it’s goal is to measure puck possession.

Corsi For Percentage is the percentage share of all Corsi events for and against.  Obviously the maximum Corsi For Percentage a team or player can have is 100%.  A 50% Corsi For Percentage means that there was an even split in attempts on net, for the team/player and their opponent.

So basically, a 50% Corsi For Percentage is solid, and anything above 50% is more or less a job well done.  More goes into Corsi than that, but the intention of this article isn’t to dive into the depths of the sea of Corsi.

In this article, we will look at how the Hawks’ defensemen performed statistically, in 2013-2014.

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What an incredible season it was for the Hawks’ defensemen.

Michal Rozsival leads the way in CF%, although that may be a bit deceiving.  Rozsival missed 40 games, in 2013-2014, and was often matched up against opponents weaker lines.  Nevertheless, he did his job, and he passed with flying colors.

Nick Leddywho was typically Rozsivals d-partner, was often sheltered too.  Although, Leddy played a full-season, unlike Rozisval and was often playing with a different d-partner night in and night out, but his patience with the puck and offensive abilities lead to a very good CF%.

Brent Seabrook had an off year.  He was often bailed out by his d-partner, Duncan Keith.  When split up, Seabrook struggled without Keith, while Keith managed to play just fine.  Still, Seabrook was able to put up a very good CF%, which is no fluke.

What is left to say about Keith’s season?  He is a Norris Trophy candidate who was typically on the ice nearly half the game and received tougher assignments and played out of his mind.  Keith’s puck moving ability and speed are second to none as is his ability to strip the puck off of opponent’s sticks.  It’s no secret how he was able to put up such solid possession numbers as well as why he was able to put up 61 points, in 2013-2014.

Johnny Oduya was hit or miss, during the season.  He was often receiving the toughest assignments and mostly defensive zone starts.  His role was to be more defensively-minded and more of a shot blocker, a role he hasn’t done for very long, in his career.  He had his moments where he was out of place, and he also had his moments where he got his job done.

Arguably the best defensive defenseman on the Hawks, Niklas Hjalmarsson had a fantastic season.  Like his d-partner, Oduya, Hjalmarsson received some of the toughest assignments and zone starts, but he still found a way to excel.  That way was by sacrificing his body and blocking shots.  Nothing to brag about offensively, but as an absolute defensive beast, he was able to have ab above 50% CF%, which is quite an achievement, considering his assignments.

Sheldon Brookbank is the only player to be in both this post, as well as yesterday’s forwards post.  That’s because Brookbank was routinely lined up as a forward as well as a defenseman.  His role as a depth for the depth, was filled quite admirably.  It’s a very dirty job, and it would be foolish to expect him to be another Keith.  Despite all of the flack taken, Brookbank was able to secure an above 50% CF%, and that ain’t bad at all.

Head to the next page to see how the Hawks’ defensemen fared statistically during the playoffs.