Chicago Blackhawks’ Achievement Watch For 2018-19 Regular Season
By Colin Likas
Individual achievements tend to receive a little more emphasis when a team is struggling to compete for postseason contention. But let’s admit it: We’d probably be looking at some of these Chicago Blackhawks milestones regardless of the team’s success rate.
Professional sports are filled with milestone moments, and NHL-level hockey is no different. The Chicago Blackhawks’ current roster has plenty of big statistical moments on the horizon heading into the 2018-19 regular season.
Today, we’re going to look at one or two such stats for each guy presently listed on the Blackhawks’ roster (per the team’s website). It’s important to note, these stats will be only for regular-season numbers.
Artem Anisimov: 700 games played
The Russian center presently sits at 625 regular-season tilts contested, so he can make it to 700 this season. He’ll just need to play in at least 75 of the 82 Blackhawks affairs.
Alex DeBrincat: 100 points
Based on what DeBrincat did in his rookie NHL season — posting 52 points — it appears entirely possible DeBrincat could reach and surpass the triple-digit mark in his first two years playing at hockey’s highest level.
John Hayden: 100 games played
Not too much on the docket statistically for Hayden, so let’s go with this games played number. Hayden is at 59 through his first two NHL seasons and suited up for 47 in 2017-18. Therefore, there’s a feasible chance he could hit the century mark sometime in 2019.
Patrick Kane: 900 points and 900 games played
Now these are some big numbers. Kane is at better than a point-per-game pace for his regular-season career — 828 points in 822 games. Considering he’s coming off a 76-point campaign — his lowest in the last three years — and has played in all 82 regular-season showdowns during each of those seasons, it’s fair to say a healthy Kane could reach both of these plateaus.
Marcus Kruger: 500 games played
At 28 years old, Kruger already has played quite a bit of hockey — and this is just in the regular season. He’s at 446 contests thus far. Should he stay out of the AHL ranks, which he proved unable to do last year, 500 games will be well within reach.
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Chris Kunitz: 1,000 games played
Speaking of guys who have played a ton of hockey, Kunitz is just 34 regular-season games away from the four-figure mark. Considering he completed all 82 tilts with Tampa Bay last year, Kunitz seems a fair bet to get to this paltry (by comparison) figure in 2018-19.
Brandon Saad: 300 points and 500 games played
Saad shouldn’t have an issue reaching the latter of these two marks, as he’s sitting on 450 regular-season games played so far. A bounceback year — which I and others anticipate — would have Saad in the conversation for surpassing 300 points. He’s at 267 right now and has overcome 33 points in all but his first full NHL season.
Nick Schmaltz: 100 points and 200 games played
Schmaltz soared to 52 points in his second NHL campaign, leaving him just 20 short of hitting triple digits. Seems like a fair bet to take. He’d need to suit up for 61 regular-season exhibits to reach the 200 level in that stat as well.
Dylan Sikura: Everything
Considering he’s played all of five NHL games, it’s probably not fair to levy any sort of milestones on him. So everything is up for grabs.
Jonathan Toews: 700 points and 800 games played
The captain is well within reach of both of these figures, needing just nine regular-season affairs and 26 points to improve his already Hall of Fame-worthy resume.
Erik Gustafsson: 100 games played and 100 blocked shots
The defenseman isn’t exactly a statistical dynamo, despite that hot offensive stretch in 2015-16. He’s 24 games from 100 in the regular season and 18 blocked shots from triple digits there as well.
Duncan Keith: 100 goals and 1,000 games played
Those two numbers don’t feel like they should go together, but the iron man on the Blackhawks’ blue line is vying for triple-digit goals and quadruple-digit regular-season games played at the same time. He’s eight goals from hitting the former number and five games from reaching the latter.
Da Windy City
Brandon Manning: 300 blocked shots
Manning’s breakout season was the 2017-18 campaign, so he doesn’t have many impressive NHL-level stats. He needs 69 blocks to hit 300 for his career and has posted more than 70 in each of the last two seasons.
Connor Murphy: 400 games played
If Murphy slots in as a regular blueliner for the Blackhawks this season (sketchy at best), he can reach 400 games played. But he needs 66 tilts to hit the figure, and while he suited up for 76 in his first year with the Blackhawks, coach Joel Quenneville seemed to sour on him as time went on.
Jan Rutta: 100 games played
Another guy whose role was lessened later in the 2017-18 season, Rutta must play in 43 regular-season games to hit 100 through his first two NHL seasons.
Brent Seabrook: 100 goals and 450 points
It’s almost incredible neither Keith nor Seabrook has reached 100 goals scored in their respective regular-season careers. Seabrook is just five goals from that ledger and 18 points from the other.
Corey Crawford: 250 wins and 400 starts
We’d all just like to see Crow playing at all in 2018-19, but neither of these numbers should be too hard to reach if he gets back on his regular footing. He needs 20 victories to hit 250 for his regular-season career and five starts to net 400.
Anton Forsberg: 50 starts
Not much in the statistical department for Forsberg to hang his hat on yet, when it comes to his NHL tenure. It’s no guarantee he even gets NHL playing time this year. Should he, though, he’ll need 11 starts to hit 50 for his career.
Cam Ward: 18,000 saves
This is a fascinating number to wrap up on. For comparison’s sake, Crow has fewer than 11,000 saves in his NHL regular-season career. Ward is at 17,261 right now, and he collected 1,075 in 43 games last year. Depending on Crow’s health, it could be relatively easy or somewhat tough for Ward to reach this mark.