Editorials

Chicago Blackhawks: What We Know After October

By Nick Meyers
CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 25: Alex DeBrincat #12 of the Chicago Blackhawks gets a pat on the head from Jonathan Toews #19 after scoring an empty net goal in the third period against the New York Rangers at the United Center on October 25, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The Blackhawks defeated the Rangers 4-1. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 25: Alex DeBrincat #12 of the Chicago Blackhawks gets a pat on the head from Jonathan Toews #19 after scoring an empty net goal in the third period against the New York Rangers at the United Center on October 25, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The Blackhawks defeated the Rangers 4-1. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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The Chicago Blackhawks season has seen October come and go as we are now one month into the 2018-19 NHL season. For one reason or another, the Chicago Blackhawks are turning heads. Let’s look at the factors that defined the first 13 games of the Blackhawks season.

The Chicago Blackhawks do not have a goaltending issue.

Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford‘s return to the ‘Hawks net on October 18th wasn’t as shaky as expected even with a 4-1 loss to the Arizona Coyotes at home. As strange or unlikely as it may be, Crawford is performing as well as we remember before his 10-month absence.

Additionally, Cam Ward proved in the games leading up to Corey’s season debut that he can serve as a reliable goalie in the short term, which is exactly what the Blackhawks had intended when signing him in the offseason.

In 6 starts, Crawford has posted a .909 save percentage with a 2.72 GAA while facing 160 shots.  Cam Ward, meanwhile, is sitting at .889 save percentage and a 3.92 GAA with 7 games played. Though Ward’s numbers are bad — and Crawford’s look much worse after giving up 10 goals his past two starts — the downsides of these statistics are far more reflective on the Chicago Blackhawks defense rather than their goaltenders.

All in all, things could be much, much worse in the ‘Hawks net.

The Blackhawks have a solid no. 2 goaltender for the first time since Scott Darling’s departure. If anything, fans should be breathing a sigh of relief. Lack of depth behind Crawford was the nail in the coffin for the struggling team last season.

At the very least, that doesn’t appear to be a problem a month in.

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