Blackhawks News

Chicago Blackhawks’ Week Ahead Looks Great On Paper

By Colin Likas
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We’ve entered the portion of the Chicago Blackhawks’ season where they can get a little healthier in the NHL standings and with their statistics. The Blackhawks have another four-game week, and it’s full of relative cupcakes. Of course, there’s a reason they don’t play the games on paper — the Blackhawks still need to show up and win these contests.

But let’s recap last week first. The Blackhawks played four games and took three of them, though it wasn’t as impressive as it sounds. They looked solid last night in a 4-0 trumping of Vancouver, but they looked pretty rotten in two games against Nashville (a win and a loss) and just OK in another win against Winnipeg. The Blackhawks and their fans will certainly take the wins however they come, but it’d be nice to see more efforts like the one the Blackhawks put forth last night and fewer like Tuesday’s against the Preds.

After dipping a little more into the Central Division, the Blackhawks will mostly pull back from that with their games through the rest of December. Of the eight games remaining this month, three are against Central Division opponents, but they only consist of two teams. We’ll see one of those squads this week and another next week — and the Blackhawks haven’t faced either of them yet this season.

Before we go any further on that, let’s get to our statistical and standings updates for the previous week.


Artem Anisimov: 35 games, 12 goals, 7 assists, plus-5 rating, 6 penalty minutes, 51 shots

Kyle Baun: 2 games, 0 goals, 0 assists, minus-2 rating, 0 penalty minutes, 1 shot

Bryan Bickell: 16 games, 0 goals, 2 assists, minus-2 rating, 0 penalty minutes, 18 shots

Marko Dano: 13 games, 1 goal, 1 assist, 0 rating, 2 penalty minutes, 15 shots

Andrew Desjardins: 30 games, 1 goal, 0 assists, minus-8 rating, 11 penalty minutes, 35 shots

Ryan Garbutt: 30 games, 1 goal, 3 assists, minus-6 rating, 25 penalty minutes, 60 shots

Ryan Hartman: 3 games, 0 goals, 1 assist, minus-1 rating, 0 penalty minutes, 3 shots

Vincent Hinostroza: 4 games, 0 goals, 0 assists, 0 rating, 2 penalty minutes, 4 shots

Marian Hossa: 31 games, 5 goals, 11 assists, plus-2 rating, 8 penalty minutes, 99 shots

Patrick Kane: 35 games, 21 goals, 29 assists, plus-15 rating, 14 penalty minutes, 122 shots

Tanner Kero: 17 games, 1 goal, 2 assists, minus-2 rating, 2 penalty minutes, 26 shots

Marcus Kruger: 33 games, 0 goals, 1 assist, minus-5 rating, 20 penalty minutes, 39 shots

Brandon Mashinter: 15 games, 1 goal, 0 assists, minus-2 rating, 14 penalty minutes, 5 shots

Artemi Panarin: 35 games, 10 goals, 21 assists, plus-4 rating, 8 penalty minutes, 81 shots

Dennis Rasmussen: 8 games, 3 goals, 1 assist, plus-2 rating, 0 penalty minutes, 13 shots

Andrew Shaw: 35 games, 6 goals, 7 assists, plus-3 rating, 29 penalty minutes, 57 shots

Teuvo Teravainen: 31 games, 8 goals, 8 assists, plus-4 rating, 6 penalty minutes, 53 shots

Viktor Tikhonov: 11 games, 0 goals, 0 assists, minus-4 rating, 6 penalty minutes, 11 shots

Jonathan Toews: 35 games, 11 goals, 10 assists, plus-7 rating, 28 penalty minutes, 76 shots


Trevor Daley: 29 games, 0 goals, 6 assists, plus-1 rating, 8 penalty minutes, 43 shots

Erik Gustafsson: 6 games, 0 goals, 3 assists, plus-5 rating, 0 penalty minutes, 8 shots

Niklas Hjalmarsson: 35 games, 1 goal, 9 assists, plus-4 rating, 12 penalty minutes, 39 shots

Duncan Keith: 21 games, 5 goals, 10 assists, plus-1 rating, 4 penalty minutes, 34 shots

Michal Rozsival: 13 games, 0 goals, 0 assists, minus-2 rating, 4 penalty minutes, 14 shots

David Rundblad: 9 games, 0 goals, 2 assists, minus-2 rating, 6 penalty minutes, 13 shots

Brent Seabrook: 31 games, 5 goals, 15 assists, plus-3 rating, 8 penalty minutes, 66 shots

Viktor Svedberg: 15 games, 1 goal, 1 assist, minus-1 rating, 2 penalty minutes, 23 shots

Trevor van Riemsdyk: 31 games, 2 goals, 2 assists, minus-6 rating, 9 penalty minutes, 29 shots


Corey Crawford: 24 starts, 15 wins, 7 losses, 2 OT losses, 4 shutouts, .924 save percentage, 2.23 goals-allowed average

Scott Darling: 8 starts, 2 wins, 3 losses, 2 OT losses, 0 shutouts, .908 save percentage, 2.78 goals-allowed average

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Not a bad week for a decent number of guys. First time we’ve been able to say that in a while. Kane continued his ridiculous run and is up to 26 consecutive games with at least a point. Rasmussen broke into the NHL with a pair of goals on just five shots — the beneficiary of what was essentially a tip-in off a Shaw shot for his first goal and Bickell putting the puck nine-tenths of the way into the net for his second. Rundblad is also making the most of his powerplay time, racking up a couple assists. If only he could be as effective on the defensive end.

Maybe the most surprising statistic to me is Hjalmarsson sporting not only a positive rating, but one of the better ones on the team. Certainly, playing alongside Keith and now Seabrook has benefited, but you know Hjalmarsson is still seeing a ton of defensive-zone starts. However, because he and his solid defensive partners can turn play the other way, Hjalmarsson is seeing a boost in his offensive stock. He could touch his career high in assists, which is 22 in the 2013-14 season.

And then, of course, there’s Crawford. His stats look a lot healthier after a week that landed him the NHL’s first star award. Darling’s stats look a little worse as a result, but his last outing wasn’t necessarily bad. He received no help as the Preds put up four goals before an empty-netter.

On to the Central Division standings.

Dallas: 22-6-2, 46 points, 21 regulation/overtime wins, 102 goals for, 79 goals against

Chicago: 17-10-4, 38 points, 17 regulation/overtime wins, 85 goals for, 75 goals against

St. Louis: 17-10-4, 38 points, 16 regulation/overtime wins, 78 goals for, 75 goals against

Minnesota: 15-7-6, 36 points, 15 regulation/overtime wins, 73 goals for, 66 goals against

Nashville: 15-10-5, 35 points, 13 regulation/overtime wins, 80 goals for, 79 goals against

Winnipeg: 14-14-2, 30 points, 14 regulation/overtime wins, 82 goals for, 91 goals against

Colorado: 14-16-1, 29 points, 14 regulation/overtime wins, 85 goals for, 88 goals against

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The Blackhawks did some leapfrogging as a result of the Blues struggling at home and the Wild not taking the ice a whole lot. St. Louis is just 9-6-2 at home and came off an inspiring shutout of the Stars on Saturday with a flat loss Sunday against the Avs. Meanwhile, the Blackhawks are one of two teams in the league (the New York Rangers are the other) with 12 home wins. At the same time, Minnesota just wasn’t playing. Their oddly-structured schedule has them as the only team in the West with 28 games played (there are four teams in the East with that distinction).

The Preds continued to tumble behind surprisingly poor goaltending from Pekka Rinne and hit-and-miss offense. The Avalanche have started to play better, going 6-4-0 in their last 10 while compiling a surprising 10-9-0 record away from the Pepsi Center. Winnipeg just continues to muddle around without any good goaltending, and it’s going to have them in last in the Central before long.

Let’s next look at the four teams the Blackhawks will take on this week.

Next: A Glance At Colorado, Edmonton, Buffalo and San Jose