Blackhawks News

Chicago Blackhawks 2014-2015 Over/Under Preview- Ben Smith

By Skylar Peters

The calendar has finally turned to September and so it’s time to bring back one of our traditional favorites over/under.  We predict the Blackhawks players stats and you tell us if you think they will go over or under those stats! It’s a fun way to preview the season and we look forward to your comments! Is It October 9th in Dallas yet?

Today, we look at a Blackhawk that broke out as a full-time player last season, and is preparing to improve on an already great season, in 2014-15; Ben Smith.

Smith should be a familiar name to Blackhawks’ fans, dating back to the 2010-11 season (remember the Vancouver series, anyone?), but hadn’t nailed down a full-time spot with the club until training camp last season. Smith, along with Jimmy Hayes and Joakim Nordstrom, started the year with the Blackhawks for the first time. By mid-season, Smith was the only one left, as Hayes left via trade, and Nordstrom was sent down to the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs.

Smith played 75 games for the Blackhawks last season, finishing up with 14 goals and 26 points alongside Marcus Kruger and Brandon Bollig on the ‘Hawks fourth-line. Smith also spent some time on the Blackhawks’ penalty-kill unit, ranking 9th on the team in Short-handed Time On Ice, averaging 1:16/game.

The Blackhawks’ fourth line is expected to look slightly different this season with the departure of Bollig, but one could expect Smith and Kruger to return to their bottom-six duties together. Smith was a pleasant surprise for the Blackhawks all season, and Kruger’s work earned him a spot on the Swedish Olympic team.

2014-2015 over/under– We expect Smith to finish the 2014-15 season with 78 GP, 15 goals, and 14 assists, totalling 29 points.

Smith may be someone the Blackhawks’ go to consistently in penalty-kill situations, saving valuable minutes for teammates like Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa to do their work at the other end of the ice. Although the Blackhawks are expected to have a dominant offense once again, where, and how Smith gets his ice time will be why he doesn’t show massive improvement in his second season with the Blackhawks full time.

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