Welcome back, Chicago Blackhawks fans, for another look at the week ahead for the men in the Indian Head. Last week finished with a bang for the Blackhawks, as they defeated the league’s top team, the Washington Capitals, 3-2 at the United Center. That followed a 3-1 defeat against the Nashville Predators in what was otherwise a quiet week on the ice.
Of course, off the ice was where all the news was happening, as General Manager Stan Bowman preceded the trade deadline with a trio of moves. Andrew Ladd and Tomas Fleischmann made their Blackhawks debuts Sunday, with both performing well, while Dale Weise and Christian Ehrhoff will make their debuts down the road. They’ll have three opportunities this week to do so.
Before we get to those three games, let’s get to our Blackhawks statistics update.
Artem Anisimov: 63 games, 18 goals, 16 assists, plus-9 rating, 8 penalty minutes, 103 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
d-Phillip Danault: 30 games, 1 goal, 4 assists, minus-3 rating, 6 penalty minutes, 48 shots
d-Marko Dano: 13 games, 1 goal, 1 assist, 0 rating, 2 penalty minutes, 15 shots
Andrew Desjardins: 59 games, 7 goals, 2 assists, minus-7 rating, 24 penalty minutes, 79 shots
Tomas Fleischmann: 1 game, 0 goals, 0 assists, 0 rating, 0 penalty minutes, 1 shot
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: 7 games, 0 goals, 0 assists, minus-1 rating, 6 penalty minutes, 6 shots
f-Marian Hossa: 54 games, 10 goals, 18 assists, plus-10 rating, 20 penalty minutes, 164 shots
Patrick Kane: 64 games, 36 goals, 49 assists, plus-21 rating, 26 penalty minutes, 228 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
Andrew Ladd: 1 game, 0 goals, 1 assist, plus-1 rating, 0 penalty minutes, 1 shot
Brandon Mashinter: 31 games, 3 goals, 1 assist, minus-3 rating, 16 penalty minutes, 18 shots
a-Mark McNeill: 1 game, 0 goals, 0 assists, 0 rating, 0 penalty minutes, 0 shots
Artemi Panarin: 62 games, 22 goals, 35 assists, plus-7 rating, 28 penalty minutes, 143 shots
Richard Panik: 19 games, 3 goals, 2 assists, plus-2 rating, 0 penalty minutes, 21 shots
Dennis Rasmussen: 37 games, 4 goals, 4 assists, plus-7 rating, 4 penalty minutes, 39 shots
c-Jiri Sekac: 6 games, 0 goals, 1 assist, minus-1 rating, 2 penalty minutes, 11 shots
Andrew Shaw: 64 games, 11 goals, 20 assists, plus-12 rating, 49 penalty minutes, 121 shots
Teuvo Teravainen: 60 games, 10 goals, 16 assists, 0 rating, 12 penalty minutes, 111 shots
c-Viktor Tikhonov: 11 games, 0 goals, 0 assists, minus-4 rating, 6 penalty minutes, 11 shots
Jonathan Toews: 63 games, 22 goals, 22 assists, plus-17 rating, 44 penalty minutes, 144 shots
d-Trevor Daley: 29 games, 0 goals, 6 assists, plus-1 rating, 8 penalty minutes, 43 shots
Erik Gustafsson: 28 games, 0 goals, 10 assists, plus-10 rating, 0 penalty minutes, 37 shots
Niklas Hjalmarsson: 64 games, 2 goals, 16 assists, plus-13 rating, 28 penalty minutes, 65 shots
Duncan Keith: 54 games, 8 goals, 30 assists, plus-13 rating, 12 penalty minutes, 103 shots
Michal Rozsival: 37 games, 1 goal, 5 assists, plus-1 rating, 29 penalty minutes, 32 shots
e-David Rundblad: 9 games, 0 goals, 2 assists, minus-2 rating, 6 penalty minutes, 13 shots
d-Rob Scuderi: 17 games, 0 goals, 0 assists, minus-6 rating, 0 penalty minutes, 14 shots
Brent Seabrook: 64 games, 12 goals, 26 assists, plus-7 rating, 26 penalty minutes, 136 shots
a-Viktor Svedberg: 17 games, 1 goal, 2 assists, 0 rating, 2 penalty minutes, 28 shots
Trevor van Riemsdyk: 64 games, 3 goals, 7 assists, minus-4 rating, 25 penalty minutes, 64 shots
Corey Crawford: 52 starts, 33 wins, 16 losses, 3 OT losses, 7 shutouts, .928 save percentage, 2.25 goals-allowed average
Scott Darling: 12 starts, 6 wins, 4 losses, 2 OT losses, 0 shutouts, .917 save percentage, 2.47 goals-allowed average
(a-demoted to Rockford; b-on long-term injured reserve; c-waived and claimed; d-traded; e-loaned; f-on injured reserve)
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The most noticeable thing this week is all the letters I had to add in front of players’ names. Since I didn’t do an update last week, there were plenty of guys who needed their status with the team altered. Just another day in Blackhawks land this season, as the team has seemingly utilized more players than your average football team.
On the actual stats side, there isn’t a whole lot to say. Ladd got a point in his first game back with the Blackhawks, assisting on a powerplay strike. Desjardins, Mashinter and Rasmussen each added a goal since my last update, which is nice to see from a bottom six that will see a dramatic overhaul when Weise, Hossa and Kruger return from visa issues (first guy) and injury (other two guys). Shaw’s stats are becoming a nice addition to the team’s offense, and I’m hopeful he can replicate those in any way on the bottom six. It helps when you play alongside Toews and Hossa/Ladd, so we’ll see how he looks alongside his new linemates when Hossa returns.
While the Blackhawks defense has seen its share of struggles, at least it’s getting a little push from an offensive standpoint. Keith and Seabrook, as usual, lead that charge, but Hjalmarsson is nearing 20 points, while Gustafsson and TVR are both at 10. No, it’s not the most positive thing in the world, but it’s something. And that something will make a bigger difference now that the Blackhawks actually have some scoring beyond their top six.
Let’s move on to the Central Division standings.
Chicago: 39-20-5, 83 points, 38 regulation/overtime wins, 180 goals for, 153 goals against
Dallas: 38-19-6, 82 points, 36 regulation/overtime wins, 204 goals for, 181 goals against
St. Louis: 36-20-9, 81 points, 33 regulation/overtime wins, 162 goals for, 159 goals against
Nashville: 31-21-11, 73 points, 28 regulation/overtime wins, 167 goals for, 158 goals against
Colorado: 32-28-4, 68 points, 29 regulation/overtime wins, 172 goals for, 181 goals against
Minnesota: 28-25-10, 66 points, 28 regulation/overtime wins, 164 goals for, 159 goals against
Winnipeg: 26-31-4, 56 points, 24 regulation/overtime wins, 159 goals for, 183 goals against
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For the first time in what feels like a very long while, I can say the Blackhawks actually have a game in hand on someone else. The Blues have played one more game than the Blackhawks, which always comes in handy when you’re already leading a team in the standings. The Blackhawks’ 38 regulation/overtime wins could be really helpful down the stretch as well, as this race among the top three teams feels like it could end with some tying.
The Predators have gotten hottest in the division, winning four consecutive games (it’s worth noting that’s only the third-longest active win streak in the league right now). They’ve put some separation between themselves and the Avs (who traded for Mikkel Boedker this afternoon) and the Wild, who have reverted to the “meh” form they took under now-fired coach Mike Yeo. The Preds and Avs currently hold down the two Western Conference wild-card spots, with only Minnesota to challenge them (Vancouver and Arizona are not making a run at them).
And now, it’s everyone’s favorite time of this post: The time when I tell you how the Blackhawks can beat up on their upcoming opponents. You’ll certainly hope they beat up on at least one of them …
Next: Glance At Detroit And Boston