Sorry, Chicago Blackhawks fans, that I’m a bit late on this week’s look ahead at the Blackhawks. We have one fewer game to look at this week than we would have if I was on time, as the Blackhawks on Monday defeated the Anaheim Ducks 1-0 in overtime, their second consecutive extra-time win behind a goal from captain Jonathan Toews.
The latest victory pushed Joel Quenneville‘s group to 6-3-0 on the season and gave them a perfect 1-0-0 record against the Western Conference. That’s right: The game against the Ducks was Chicago’s first against an in-conference foe. But the Blackhawks will get a bit more familiar with the West over their next four games, including two this week.
Before we glance at those, let’s get an update on the Blackhawks’ individual stats:
Artem Anisimov: 9 games, 3 goals, 1 assist, plus-2 rating, 2 penalty minutes, 13 shots
Kyle Baun: 2 games, 0 goals, 0 assists, minus-2 rating, 0 penalty minutes, 1 shot
Bryan Bickell: 6 games, 0 goals, 0 assists, minus-2 rating, 0 penalty minutes, 4 shots
Andrew Desjardins: 9 games, 0 goals, 0 assists, minus-3 rating, 0 penalty minutes, 9 shots
Ryan Garbutt: 8 games, 0 goals, 0 assists, minus-1 rating, 9 penalty minutes, 18 shots
Vincent Hinostroza: 4 games, 0 goals, 0 assists, 0 rating, 2 penalty minutes, 4 shots
Marian Hossa: 9 games, 1 goal, 3 assists, minus-1 rating, 0 penalty minutes, 23 shots
Patrick Kane: 9 games, 5 goals, 7 assists, plus-5 rating, 0 penalty minutes, 31 shots
Marcus Kruger: 9 games, 0 goals, 0 assists, minus-3 rating, 8 penalty minutes, 8 shots
Artemi Panarin: 9 games, 2 goals, 6 assists, plus-4 rating, 2 penalty minutes, 19 shots
Andrew Shaw: 9 games, 0 goals, 1 assist, minus-1 rating, 10 penalty minutes, 10 shots
Teuvo Teravainen: 9 games, 2 goals, 1 assist, minus-1 rating, 4 penalty minutes, 21 shots
Viktor Tikhonov: 7 games, 0 goals, 0 assists, minus-3 rating, 4 penalty minutes, 8 shots
Jonathan Toews: 9 games, 2 goals, 3 assists, plus-3 rating, 6 penalty minutes, 23 shots
Trevor Daley: 9 games, 0 goals, 1 assist, 0 rating, 2 penalty minutes, 11 shots
Niklas Hjalmarsson: 9 games, 0 goals, 1 assist, minus-2 rating, 4 penalty minutes, 10 shots
Duncan Keith: 6 games, 0 goals, 2 assists, minus-2 rating, 0 penalty minutes, 8 shots
David Rundblad: 4 games, 0 goals, 0 assists, minus-1 rating, 6 penalty minutes, 7 shots
Brent Seabrook: 9 games, 2 goal, 4 assists, plus-1 rating, 2 penalty minutes, 21 shots
Viktor Svedberg: 8 games, 1 goal, 0 assists, plus-1 rating, 0 penalty minutes, 14 shots
Trevor van Riemsdyk: 9 games, 1 goal, 1 assist, plus-2 rating, 5 penalty minutes, 10 shots
Corey Crawford: 7 starts, 5 wins, 2 losses, 2 shutouts, .943 save percentage, 1.57 goals-allowed average
Scott Darling: 2 starts, 1 win, 1 loss, 0 shutouts, .906 save percentage, 2.50 goals-allowed average
The first player we need to talk about is Crawford, who posted three more wins and his first two shutouts of the season since my last weekly update. He also improved his save percentage by more than two-tenths of a percentage point, and his goals-allowed average plummeted nearly three-fourths of a goal. We knew Crow would have to step up with Keith sidelined, and the goaltender has certainly done his part. Darling will likely get one of the two starts later this week with the Blackhawks playing back-to-back games.
Also worth notice are Kane, Toews and Seabrook — three pieces of “The Core.” Kane added a goal and four assists in three games since the last update, while Toews got off the goal-scoring schnide with the aforementioned two overtime winners. But Seabs is the real Skater of the Week. While being forced into No. 1 defenseman duty and skating alongside rookie Svedberg, Seabrook posted a goal and four assists while bumping his rating up from a minus-2 to a plus-1. That’s absurd. Seabrook is honestly going to force his way into Norris Trophy consideration if the Blackhawks keep winning and he keeps up this level of play.
Now, on to an updated Central Division glance:
Nashville: 6-1-1, 13 points, 4 regulation wins, 25 goals scored, 16 goal allowed
Dallas: 6-2-0, 12 points, 6 regulation wins, 27 goals scored, 21 goals allowed
Chicago: 6-3-0, 12 points, 6 regulation wins, 19 goals scored, 16 goals allowed
Winnipeg: 5-2-1, 11 points, 5 regulation wins, 28 goals scored, 21 goals allowed
St. Louis: 5-2-1, 11 points, 5 regulation wins, 23 goals, scored, 20 goals allowed
Minnesota: 5-2-1, 11 points, 5 regulation wins, 24 goals scored, 22 goals allowed
Colorado: 2-4-1, 5 points, 2 regulation wins, 19 goals scored, 21 goals allowed
More from Blackhawks News
- Blackhawks vs Flames: Date, Time, Lineup, Betting Odds, More
- Three Takeaways from the Blackhawks’ Win vs Vancouver
- Blackhawks: Why Derek King is the Right Coach moving forward
- Marc-Andre Fleury Carries the Blackhawks to a 4-2 Win vs Seattle
- Instant Reaction: Blackhawks top Kraken for first time in history
Holy Moses. Turns out the Central is going to be tough. Again. Who would’ve thunk it?
For points of comparison, the Atlantic Division consists of eight teams and has two in double-digit points. The Metropolitan, also with eight teams, has three in double figures. The Pacific, with seven squads, boasts three in double figures as well. The Central has six of its seven teams with 10 or more points. Six. They should have a separate playoffs for the Central Division … it’d be a blast.
You’ll notice the Preds have the second-fewest regulation wins in the Central, but are atop the division courtesy their overtime/shootout prowess. With Pekka Rinne in net, it isn’t surprising this is the case. While the Blackhawks are on a four-game win streak, everyone else is sort of holding their ground and playing well enough to hang in tough. Except poor Colorado. Wait. Poor Colorado? Isn’t Patrick Roy their coach? Screw those guys.
So, who’s on the docket this week for the Blackhawks? We need to look no further than the teams listed above.
Next: A Glance At Winnipeg And Minnesota
More from Blackhawk Up
- Blackhawks: Grading Connor Murphy and a position comparison
- Blackhawks: Shuffling the lines to try and spark offense at 5 on 5
- These Lineup Changes could Solve the Blackhawks’ Scoring Problem
- Blackhawks: List Of Things To Be Thankful For This Thanksgiving
- The perfect holiday gifts for the Chicago Blackhawks fan