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Chicago Blackhawks Month In Review — October

By Gail Kauchak
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The Chicago Blackhawks are officially a month into their seven-month regular season. Yes, the season is still very young, but the ’Hawks are not off to a particularly good start. Remember in 2013 when they started with a record of 21-0-3? Ah, those were the days!

Anyway, this season the ’Hawks have had 11 games so far, winning six and losing five. This puts them in sixth place in the Central Division with 12 points. They’ve won five of their six home games, but only one of their five away games. Interestingly, only three (the last three) of these contests were against Western Conference foes, and their record in that department is one win and two losses. I’d like to borrow some common football analysis in order to take a closer look at the Chicago Blackhawks’ month of October.

Offense. Is it really any surprise that Patrick Kane is the Blackhawks’ scoring leader? He has 6 goals and 8 assists for 14 points so far. Even amidst sexual assault allegations (looking like all charges will be dropped), Kane has been able to stay focused on hockey. I’m sure he and the team are very happy with the way he has started out the season.

Rookie Artemi Panarin comes in at second place, with 2 goals and 8 assists (10 points). He was hyped up to be a great addition to the Blackhawks, and so far he has not disappointed. The 1-2 punch of he and Kane is something opposing teams certainly can’t take for granted.

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And while we are on the subject of the second line, center Artem Anisimov has also been a factor early on. He’s not as flashy as his linemates, but he is proving to be the reliable center that the team has been trying to find of years. He currently has 4 goals and 1 assist (5 points), and a faceoff percentage of 45.7.

Jonathan Toews might not be putting a whole lot of points on the board just yet, but he is coming through when it matters. He has scored 2 overtime game-winners, as well as a shorthanded goal to get things rolling, and a 5-on-5 goal to keep the Blackhawks in the game in their most recent tilt against the Minnesota Wild. He has currently tallied 4 goals and 3 assists (7 points), good for fourth on the team in points.

Marian Hossa has also been struggling to find the back of the net. He currently has 1 goal and 3 assists (4 points). He left in the second period of the Wild tilt with a lower-body injury. Coach Joel Quenneville is calling him “day to day.” Hopefully this is nothing serious and Hossa will be back in the lineup soon.

At the same time, the bottom-six forwards haven’t done much to contribute at all offensively. Andrew Desjardins (11 games), Marcus Kruger (11 games), Bryan Bickell (7 games), Kyle Baun (2 games), Vincent Hinostroza (4 games), Tanner Kero (2 games) and Ryan Hartman (1 game) all have goose eggs in the points department. Technically you could put Viktor Tikhonov (8 games) in this category as well, even though I know he’s put in some time on the top line (more on this later). Andrew Shaw (11 games) and Ryan Garbutt (10 games) both have an assist apiece, but Garbutt’s point was actually when he was playing on the top line with Toews and Hossa.

The last offensive player to mention is Teuvo Teravainen (10 games). He has been playing mostly left wing on the third line, and has 2 goals and 1 assist. I personally think TT is getting the shaft.  I will discuss this more in the coaching section.

Next: On The Defense

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