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Chicago Blackhawks Week Ahead: Brandon Saad Returns

By Colin Likas
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The Chicago Blackhawks’ regular season began Wednesday and will not conclude until Saturday, April 9. That means we’re looking forward to many, many weeks filled with hockey over the next several months. Each Monday, I’m going to take a glance at the Blackhawks’ team stats, the Central Division and teams the Blackhawks will face in a given week.

At this point, the Blackhawks are 2-1-0 and on their first win streak of the season after sweeping a home-and-home with the New York Islanders. The Blackhawks also lost their banner-raising ceremony game on opening night against the New York Rangers.

A look at the Blackhawks’ individual statistics through three games:

Forwards

Artem Anisimov: 3 games, 1 goal, 0 assists, plus-1 rating, 2 penalty minutes, 5 shots

Kyle Baun: 1 game, 0 goals, 0 assists, 0 rating, 0 penalty minutes, 1 shot

Bryan Bickell: 3 games, 0 goals, 0 assists, 0 rating, 0 penalty minutes, 2 shots

Andrew Desjardins: 3 games, 0 goals, 0 assists, minus-2 rating, 0 penalty minutes, 5 shots

Ryan Garbutt: 3 games, 0 goals, 0 assists, minus-1 rating, 0 penalty minutes, 9 shots

Marian Hossa: 3 games, 0 goals, 2 assists, plus-1 rating, 0 penalty minutes, 10 shots

Patrick Kane: 3 games, 3 goals, 3 assists, plus-1 rating, 0 penalty minutes, 17 shots

Marcus Kruger: 3 games, 0 goals, 0 assists, minus-1 rating, 0 penalty minutes, 2 shots

Artemi Panarin: 3 games, 2 goals, 2 assists, plus-2 rating, 0 penalty minutes, 8 shots

Andrew Shaw: 3 games, 0 goals, 1 assist, minus-1 rating, 2 penalty minutes, 2 shots

Teuvo Teravainen: 3 games, 1 goal, 1 assist, plus-1 rating, 0 penalty minutes, 10 shots

Viktor Tikhonov: 2 games, 0 goals, 0 assists, 0 rating, 0 penalty minutes, 2 shots

Jonathan Toews: 3 games, 0 goals, 2 assists, plus-1 rating, 2 penalty minutes, 6 shots

Defensemen

Trevor Daley: 3 games, 0 goals, 0 assists, plus-1 rating, 2 penalty minutes, 4 shots

Niklas Hjalmarsson: 3 games, 0 goals, 1 assist, 0 rating, 0 penalty minutes, 4 shots

Duncan Keith: 3 games, 0 goals, 2 assists, 0 rating, 0 penalty minutes, 4 shots

David Rundblad: 1 game, 0 goals, 0 assists, 0 rating, 0 penalty minutes, 2 shots

Brent Seabrook: 3 games, 1 goal, 0 assists, minus-1 rating, 0 penalty minutes, 6 shots

Viktor Svedberg: 2 games, 0 goals, 0 assists, 0 rating, 0 penalty minutes, 3 shots

Trevor van Riemsdyk: 3 games, 1 goal, 1 assist, plus-2 rating, 0 penalty minutes, 1 shot

Goaltenders

Corey Crawford: 2 starts, 1 win, 1 loss, 0 shutouts, .921 save percentage, 2.50 goals-allowed average

Scott Darling: 1 start, 1 win, 0 losses, 0 shutouts, .966 save percentage, 1.00 goals-allowed average

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Right off the bat, one positive thing we can see among all the skating Blackhawks is a distinct lack of penalty minutes. The team has taken just four minor penalties through three games. If those numbers stay low, the Blackhawks are likely to see more and continued success.

Kane and Panarin are, not surprisingly, leading the team with six and four points, respectively. The two have some incredible on-ice chemistry and have meshed well along with centerman Anisimov. But Teravainen’s early stats, specifically his 10 shots on goal, are a very positive sign. His movement to the third line could be extremely beneficial for bottom-six scoring the Blackhawks would benefit greatly from.

The goaltending stats are solid through three games, and Crawford will continue to get the majority of the starts in non-back-to-back situations (more on that later).

Now for a look at the Central Division standings:

Minnesota: 2-0-0, 4 points, 2 regulation wins, 8 goals scored, 6 goals allowed

Nashville: 2-0-0, 4 points, 2 regulation wins, 4 goals scored, 1 goal allowed

Winnipeg: 2-0-0, 4 points, 2 regulation wins, 9 goals scored, 3 goals allowed

Chicago: 2-1-0, 4 points, 2 regulation wins, 9 goals scored, 6 goals allowed

Colorado: 1-1-0, 2 points, 1 regulation win, 10 goals scored, 8 goals allowed

Dallas: 1-1-0, 2 points, 1 regulation win, 6 goals scored, 6 goals allowed

St. Louis: 1-1-0, 2 points, 1 regulation win, 5 goals, scored, 4 goals allowed

Six of the seven teams have a positive goal differential in the early going, with only Dallas’ even ledger going against that. It’s something we should expect throughout the season.

The Blackhawks will add three games to their results this week. Let’s look at the trio of opponents Chicago takes on between today and Sunday.

Next: A Glance At Philadelphia, Washington And Columbus

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