The Chicago Blackhawks continued to live dangerously on their Western Canada trip and paid for it dearly. They went 0-for-3 and ran their winless streak to 5 games. The end result was the ouster of coach Joel Quenneville and his entire coaching staff.
The euphoria of a fast start quickly wore off as the Chicago Blackhawks dropped below the Mason Dixon line to a current record of 6-6-3. Their inconsistent play dropped them out of the second wild card position, got their fan base grumbling, and the front office responded by firing future Hockey Hall of Fame coach Joel Quenneville.
If the ‘Hawks had not won their first five games in overtime, they would be looking at a record of 1-6-8 for 10 points and last place in the Central Division. In my last article, I wrote that their dangerous style of play was not conducive to winning, and it has proved to be true. Let’s look at the performance of the team leading up to the coaching change.
The stats continue to support the eye test
The Chicago Blackhawks continue to play a wide open style of hockey that is fast paced and wildly entertaining. It’s entertaining if you’re a hockey fan, but not always so if you’re a ‘Hawks fan. Sean Tierney plots out a graph of all NHL teams where both Corsi-for and Corsi-against are summed up. The ‘Hawks are near the top of the chart.
In this style of play, puck luck can determine the final outcome of a game. In the first five games of the season, the ‘Hawks were pretty lucky. At fifteen games in, the ‘Hawks are finding that bad fundamentals mixed with fast pace play lead to breakdowns and pucks in the back of their net.
Their goal differential currently sits at a minus-10.