Analysis

Chicago Blackhawks’ 2017-18 Midterm Grades For Forward Corps

By Randy Holndoner
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If we look at the standings at the midway point of the season, we would have to scroll down to find the Chicago Blackhawks. This doesn’t make for good grades when it comes to midterms.

I’m sure there have been “discussions” behind closed doors with the Chicago Blackhawks’ upper brass and some of the “students” as to where things differ.  Whether those can be turned around in the second half of the season, we have to wait and see.  For now, let’s take a look at how the 2017-18 school year has fared for some of these Blackhawks, shall we?

Forwards: B-

One of the things that the Blackhawks used to pride themselves on was their puck control.  That starts at winning faceoffs (48.8 percent, 23rd in the league: D-).  They are 28th in the league in defensive-zone faceoff win percentage as well, which warrants a big fat F.

Jonathan Toews (58.1 percent) has taken 33 percent of the team’s faceoffs this year.  You take his faceoffs out of the equation, the Blackhawks have won just 44.2 percent of their draws.

The powerplay (14.7 percent) is 29th in the league (F), but some of that blame can go to others (defense, coaches).  The penalty kill is in the middle of the pack (15th in the league, C), although struggling lately.  Tha,t too, will have blame pushed to others.

The Blackhawks are giving up 33 shots per game.  That can’t all be blamed on the defense.  It’s also a combination of bad backchecking leading to odd-man breaks.  There have also been times where pucks don’t get deep, or turnovers lead to those same odd-man breaks.

Let’s take a look at how the centers have done so far this year.

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