Blackhawks News

Chicago Blackhawks’ Week Ahead Heads West

By Colin Likas
Jan 26, 2016; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN; Arizona Coyotes center Brad Richardson (12) celebrates his goal with teammates during the second period against the Winnipeg Jets at MTS Centre. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 26, 2016; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN; Arizona Coyotes center Brad Richardson (12) celebrates his goal with teammates during the second period against the Winnipeg Jets at MTS Centre. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports /
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Welcome back from the All-Star break, everyone. Well … technically the break isn’t over until Tuesday, but still. The All-Star Game and accompanying Skills Competition were generally well received, a nice change of pace from last year’s contest, which was taken as an utter joke. But with all of that out of the way, we can get back to the games that matter, especially for the Chicago Blackhawks.

The break could not have come soon enough for Chicago, which followed up a 12-game win streak by losing three of its last four heading into the down time, including a nasty 5-0 loss at Carolina to wrap up the “first half.” The Blackhawks were pretty clearly gassed and needed the rest, which all but Patrick Kane received. Jonathan Toews would have been without rest as well due to the All-Star Game, but he backed out as a result of an illness that also kept him from some of the Carolina contest. Toews received a mandatory one-game ban for this, so he’ll get a little extra rest on top of that.

The Blackhawks have a three-game week to start their lightest full month of the regular season. After leading the league in games played through the first half with 53 — leaving some teams with as many as six games in hand on Chicago — the Blackhawks will play just 11 games this month, tying with October as their lightest workload in a non-April/playoff month. With the Blackhawks leading a cutthroat Central Division and every divisional foe having at least one game in hand on them, it’ll be critical they rack up every point possible this month.

Let’s get to the statistical and standings updates, then preview the Blackhawks’ week ahead.

Forwards

Artem Anisimov: 52 games, 17 goals, 10 assists, plus-5 rating, 8 penalty minutes, 81 shots

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

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

Phillip Danault: 20 games, 1 goal, 4 assists, minus-1 rating, 0 penalty minutes, 32 shots

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

Andrew Desjardins: 48 games, 6 goals, 1 assist, minus-8 rating, 22 penalty minutes, 65 shots

d-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: 48 games, 8 goals, 17 assists, plus-10 rating, 16 penalty minutes, 144 shots

Patrick Kane: 53 games, 30 goals, 43 assists, plus-22 rating, 24 penalty minutes, 190 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: 21 games, 2 goals, 0 assists, minus-2 rating, 14 penalty minutes, 9 shots

a-Mark McNeill: 1 game, 0 goals, 0 assists, 0 rating, 0 penalty minutes, 0 shots

Artemi Panarin: 53 games, 17 goals, 29 assists, plus-7 rating, 18 penalty minutes, 121 shots

Richard Panik: 8 games, 2 goals, 1 assist, 0 rating, 0 penalty minutes, 8 shots

Dennis Rasmussen: 26 games, 3 goals, 4 assists, plus-5 rating, 4 penalty minutes, 26 shots

Andrew Shaw: 53 games, 9 goals, 15 assists, plus-9 rating, 41 penalty minutes, 95 shots

Teuvo Teravainen: 49 games, 9 goals, 13 assists, plus-5 rating, 8 penalty minutes, 85 shots

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

Jonathan Toews: 53 games, 19 goals, 16 assists, plus-13 rating, 38 penalty minutes, 125 shots

Defensemen

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

Erik Gustafsson: 20 games, 0 goals, 8 assists, plus-10 rating, 0 penalty minutes, 24 shots

Niklas Hjalmarsson: 53 games, 2 goals, 12 assists, plus-8 rating, 24 penalty minutes, 60 shots

Duncan Keith: 43 games, 7 goals, 23 assists, plus-11 rating, 10 penalty minutes, 77 shots

Michal Rozsival: 28 games, 0 goals, 4 assists, plus-3 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: 16 games, 0 goals, 0 assists, minus-5 rating, 0 penalty minutes, 13 shots

Brent Seabrook: 53 games, 7 goals, 24 assists, plus-7 rating, 20 penalty minutes, 105 shots

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

Trevor van Riemsdyk: 53 games, 2 goals, 4 assists, minus-7 rating, 17 penalty minutes, 52 shots

Goaltenders

Corey Crawford: 42 starts, 28 wins, 12 losses, 2 OT losses, 7 shutouts, .931 save percentage, 2.14 goals-allowed average

Scott Darling: 11 starts, 5 wins, 4 losses, 2 OT losses, 0 shutouts, .911 save percentage, 2.61 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

Not a whole lot to talk about from two weeks ago, as the Blackhawks’ offense took a nap for most of the stretch between this update and the previous one. After blasting Nashville 4-1 on Jan. 19, the Blackhawks were shut out twice and scored just three goals between their other two games. Pretty much everyone’s plus/minus rating saw a slight dip, but it’s certainly nothing to be concerned about, especially after that 12-game run put the Blackhawks in comfortable shape regarding the postseason.

Of course, even when there’s been little to say, Crawford is still worth talking about. He went 2-2-0 between updates, and yet his save percentage and goals-allowed average both took a small hike in the positive direction. This guy is just playing world-class hockey right now. From a league-recognition standpoint, it’s unfortunate it’s coming at the same time as stellar play from Braden Holtby, Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider. From a Blackhawks’ success standpoint, who cares?

On to the Central Division standings.

Chicago: 33-16-4, 70 points, 32 regulation/overtime wins, 147 goals for, 122 goals against

Dallas: 31-14-5, 67 points, 29 regulation/overtime wins, 162 goals for, 133 goals against

St. Louis: 28-16-8, 64 points, 25 regulation/overtime wins, 129 goals for, 128 goals against

Colorado: 27-22-3, 57 points, 26 regulation/overtime wins, 143 goals for, 142 goals against

Nashville: 24-18-8, 56 points, 22 regulation/overtime wins, 129 goals for, 131 goals against

Minnesota: 23-17-9, 55 points, 23 regulation/overtime wins, 121 goals for, 115 goals against

Winnipeg: 22-24-3, 47 points, 22 regulation/overtime wins, 126 goals for, 140 goals against

More from Blackhawk Up

Things got pretty interesting in the last week-plus before the All-Star break. The Predators, who had been slumping pretty heavily, took their last four games to leapfrog Minnesota and get within a point of surprising Colorado. The Avs have gone 6-4-0 in their last 10 to take a surprise wild-card lead, paced by their strong 15-12-0 road mark. The Wild, meanwhile, are still in decent shape, as they have one game in hand on Nashville and three on Colorado.

St. Louis and Dallas are both struggling somewhat, though the Blues will get a nice boost with the return of Jaden Schwartz, who suffered a lower-body injury in a practice a few months ago. With St. Louis able to better organize its lines moving forward (don’t count on Ken Hitchcock to actually succeed in that on his first try, or five), their surprisingly inept offense should be able to kick into gear soon. The Stars, meanwhile, will visit the Blackhawks next week in a game they’ll certainly be hyped for. That’s not to mention another game between the teams … which is among the three this week we’ll take to discussing now.

Next: Glancing At Colorado, Arizona and Dallas

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