Blackhawks News

Chicago Blackhawks’ Week Ahead Tries To Keep Streaking

By Colin Likas
Jan 16, 2016; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Blues center Kyle Brodziak (28) checks Montreal Canadiens left wing Tomas Fleischmann (15) off the puck in front of Brian Elliott (1) during the third period at Scottrade Center. St. Louis defeated Montreal 4-3 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 16, 2016; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Blues center Kyle Brodziak (28) checks Montreal Canadiens left wing Tomas Fleischmann (15) off the puck in front of Brian Elliott (1) during the third period at Scottrade Center. St. Louis defeated Montreal 4-3 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports /
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There seems to be something positive about doing my weekly Chicago Blackhawks update every two weeks instead. Indeed, the Blackhawks have rattled off a boatload of consecutive wins — 11, to be exact — while I’ve missed a couple weeks, and I’m taking all the credit.

Not really, but this post becomes a lot more fun to do when the Blackhawks are rolling like this. Remember early in the season, when we were searching for things to be positive about outside Patrick Kane‘s ridiculous offense and Corey Crawford‘s stellar goaltending? Well, we’re still getting those two items, but we’re also seeing a whole lot more to be excited about.

So, let’s get right down to it. The Blackhawks are looking at a four-game stretch this week before one final contest — next Tuesday against Carolina — ahead of the All-Star break. I’m just going to look at the four games this week and not the Hurricanes contest, considering I’d only have two things to say: The ’Canes are boring, and the Blackhawks should beat them by 50-75 goals every time out. Final score of that game will probably be 2-1 Blackhawks because they could care less about playing the Hurricanes, but I digress.

Let’s get our stats and standings updates out of the way before we see what this week has in store for Chicago.

Forwards

Artem Anisimov: 47 games, 15 goals, 10 assists, plus-7 rating, 8 penalty minutes, 73 shots

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

Bryan Bickell: 23 games, 0 goals, 2 assists, minus-4 rating, 2 penalty minutes, 21 shots

Phillip Danault: 15 games, 1 goal, 4 assists, minus-2 rating, 0 penalty minutes, 23 shots

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

Andrew Desjardins: 43 games, 5 goals, 1 assist, minus-7 rating, 15 penalty minutes, 61 shots

Ryan Garbutt: 42 games, 2 goals, 4 assists, minus-7 rating, 25 penalty minutes, 81 shots

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

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

Marian Hossa: 43 games, 8 goals, 16 assists, plus-13 rating, 14 penalty minutes, 138 shots

Patrick Kane: 48 games, 29 goals, 40 assists, plus-22 rating, 18 penalty minutes, 175 shots

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

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

Brandon Mashinter: 19 games, 2 goals, 0 assists, minus-2 rating, 14 penalty minutes, 9 shots

Artemi Panarin: 48 games, 16 goals, 27 assists, plus-7 rating, 14 penalty minutes, 113 shots

Richard Panik: 4 games, 1 goal, 1 assist, plus-1 rating, 0 penalty minutes, 5 shots

Dennis Rasmussen: 21 games, 3 goals, 3 assists, plus-6 rating, 4 penalty minutes, 23 shots

Andrew Shaw: 48 games, 8 goals, 15 assists, plus-12 rating, 35 penalty minutes, 86 shots

Teuvo Teravainen: 44 games, 9 goals, 12 assists, plus-6 rating, 8 penalty minutes, 74 shots

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

Jonathan Toews: 48 games, 19 goals, 16 assists, plus-16 rating, 38 penalty minutes, 116 shots

Defensemen

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

Erik Gustafsson: 15 games, 0 goals, 8 assists, plus-12 rating, 0 penalty minutes, 19 shots

Niklas Hjalmarsson: 48 games, 2 goals, 11 assists, plus-10 rating, 24 penalty minutes, 57 shots

Duncan Keith: 38 games, 7 goals, 22 assists, plus-11 rating, 10 penalty minutes, 68 shots

Michal Rozsival: 26 games, 0 goals, 3 assists, plus-2 rating, 8 penalty minutes, 23 shots

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

Rob Scuderi: 12 games, 0 goals, 0 assists, minus-2 rating, 0 penalty minutes, 9 shots

Brent Seabrook: 48 games, 7 goals, 24 assists, plus-8 rating, 18 penalty minutes, 99 shots

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

Trevor van Riemsdyk: 48 games, 2 goals, 3 assists, minus-4 rating, 15 penalty minutes, 45 shots

Goaltenders

Corey Crawford: 38 starts, 26 wins, 10 losses, 2 OT losses, 6 shutouts, .929 save percentage, 2.17 goals-allowed average

Scott Darling: 10 starts, 5 wins, 3 losses, 2 OT losses, 0 shutouts, .915 save percentage, 2.45 goals-allowed average

(a-demoted to Rockford; b-on long-term injured reserve; c-waived and claimed; d-traded; e-loaned)

More from Blackhawks News

Like I said above, I skipped a week between stat updates. So it’s especially crazy to notice that, in the last two weeks, the trio of Shaw, Toews and Hossa has seen its collective plus/minus rise by 28. That’s not a typo; Hossa is up 10 from two weeks ago, while Shaw and Toews are both up 9. Hossa especially was due for a breakout on offense, and he’s experiencing one. The puck is just finding all three of these guys, and the offensive plays they’re running are more often than not working to perfection. Hell, they could’ve had some even better numbers if Shaw’s goal against Toronto last week wasn’t waved off.

Something else I find interesting is the offensive success of the Blackhawks’ big three defensemen. This is especially true of Hjalmarsson. Not so much because of his goal and assist totals, which are nice bonuses for a defensive defenseman, but more so because of his plus/minus. I never thought we’d see Hjalmarsson at plus double digits as he’s typically utilized. But he and Keith are taking the tough assignments and turning many of them right around. As for Keith and Seabrook, the two have been critical in setting up a lot of the Blackhawks’ offense of late, as evidenced by their assist counts. If Keith could have been healthy for this entire season, there’s a good chance he’s in the Norris Trophy discussion. Probably not winning it, but certainly in the discussion.

Also nice to see Darling’s stats take a positive turn, especially when he drew a road assignment in Toronto. It’s not that Toronto is any good (obviously), but Darling’s road stats prior to that game were absolutely abhorrent. They still aren’t very good, but that showing is a nice confidence booster for him.

Last guy I want to talk about this week is Gustafsson, who is a little offensive dynamo from the blue line, at least so far. Eight assists, a plus-12 rating and 19 shots in 15 games? Sure, he’s benefiting from primarily offensive zone starts, but it’s still an impressive showing from a guy seeing his first NHL experience. He certainly didn’t lose confidence between his separate stints with the Blackhawks this season. That was clear if you saw the play he made to set up Richard Panik last night.

On to the latest Central Division standings.

Chicago: 31-13-4, 66 points, 30 regulation/overtime wins, 140 goals for, 110 goals against

Dallas: 29-12-5, 63 points, 27 regulation/overtime wins, 154 goals for, 124 goals against

St. Louis: 26-15-7, 59 points, 23 regulation/overtime wins, 121 goals for, 121 goals against

Minnesota: 22-15-8, 52 points, 22 regulation/overtime wins, 113 goals for, 106 goals against

Nashville: 20-17-8, 48 points, 18 regulation/overtime wins, 116 goals for, 123 goals against

Colorado: 22-21-3, 47 points, 22 regulation/overtime wins, 129 goals for, 129 goals against

Winnipeg: 21-21-3, 45 points, 21 regulation/overtime wins, 118 goals for, 129 goals against

More from Blackhawk Up

The Blackhawks and Stars are even in goal differential, with the Blackhawks’ offense ramping up its intensity lately and Crow still playing well. Dallas (3-5-2) and St. Louis (4-3-3) are both struggling of late, while the Blackhawks obviously aren’t. Minnesota and Nashville are also 3-5-2 in their last 10 games, while Colorado and Winnipeg are a better but still not great 5-4-1. So the Blackhawks have really been able to create a ton of space between themselves and many of their divisional competitors. Not much more you can say at this point.

Let’s move on to the four opponents the Blackhawks will see this week.

Next: Glance At Nashville, Tampa Bay, Florida and St. Louis

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