There’s little to talk about with the Chicago Blackhawks right now, until we get a little close to the 2018 NHL Draft. Let’s instead discuss the crazy influx of points impacting some of the league’s teams this year.
The Chicago Blackhawks have 66 points right now, with 14 games remaining in the regular season. That’s obviously not good, but in the unlikely event they ran the gauntlet from here on out, they’d wind up with 94 points. That’s a nice little total.
Well, in theory it is. Looking at the NHL’s top teams this season, it’s just a drop in the bucket. There are some wild point totals being put up this year.
Let’s start in the suddenly bombastic Atlantic Division, where all three teams have a better point total than any squad coming out of the vaunted Metropolitan Division.
Tampa Bay has 98 points through 68 games. If the Lightning were to win all of their remaining games — considering they’re 8-1-1 in their last 10, it’s not totally insane — they’d land in the playoffs with 126 points.
That’s … a lot. But it’s not like they’re alone. Boston has 92 points through 65 games. If the Bruins were to go unbeaten the rest of the way, they’d have 126 points as well. Worth mentioning is that Boston is on a five-game win streak.
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Poor, “lowly” third-place Toronto has 85 points through 68 points. Were the Leafs to run the gauntlet to end the regular season, they would end with 113 points. And this is the third-best team in a single division right now.
This madness isn’t restricted to the Eastern Conference. The Nashville Predators have won their last 10 games and are up to 97 points in 67 games played. Were they to go unbeaten the rest of the regular season, they would compile 127 points.
The Vegas Golden Knights are also in this boat at 91 points through 67 games. Were they to stave off losses the rest of the regular season, they’d have 121 points.
In the realm of reality
It’s very unlikely any of the above scenarios will happen. However, with all of those situations, it’s entirely possible Washington’s 121 points from the 2009-10 season is surpassed. That’s the highest regular-season point total over the last eight campaigns.
The NHL isn’t in NBA territory with its lack of parity, but there are some really impressive teams going right now. It’ll be fun to see if at least one of them can keep rolling along to a historic point total.
Ultimately, however, hockey fans know that doesn’t matter. The Washington Capitals are the epitome of a team that succeeds in the regular season and falls apart in the playoffs. Go back and look at how many times Washington has exceeded 100 points in recent years, and compare that to the number of time the Capitals became a serious playoff threat.
All in all, it’s just fun to look at big numbers. And there is a good group of teams that can generate some really impressive numbers this NHL season.
Chicago Blackhawks morning links
— Could the University of Illinois be a hockey town? Champaign News-Gazette
— The lede is all you need to read. CBS Sports
Check back in later today for some thoughts on the past trade of Teuvo Teravainen, whom the Blackhawks saw yesterday in a loss to Carolina, as well as Blackhawks general manger Stan Bowman’s handling of defensive contracts.