Editorials

Five reasons the Chicago Blackhawks aren’t a playoff team

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Philipp Kurashev, Chicago Blackhawks Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
Philipp Kurashev, Chicago Blackhawks Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports /
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Jeremy Colliton, Dylan Strome #17, Chicago Blackhawks
Jeremy Colliton, Dylan Strome #17, Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

4. The numbers are telling the truth about where this team is at.

The importance of using statistical analysis for hockey, and other sports, is debatable among fans. Despite a lack of consensus, analytics has become a major part of sports, and neither hockey nor the NHL are exceptions.

As far as Chicago is concerned in this department, there is room for improvement. Colliton is going to have his work cut out for him to correct some of these issues. Without delving into some of the more contested stats, Chicago’s team numbers leave a bit to be desired.


Yes, some of this comes directly from the long and ever-changing list of injuries Chicago has been plagued with this year. At the moment, Chicago has seven players out of the lineup. There’s no denying that injuries and health concerns are causing problems, but there is also a lack of depth throughout the roster. If there are questions, please refer back to the earlier comment about how Chicago is at the bottom of the league for shots allowed. Have a look at the stats for the game logs if you’re not sure.

Chicago’s possession metrics show that in 8/20 games they’ve had the puck more than their opponents (CF%). There are two games where possession was dead even (two losses against Tampa Bay), and the rest of the time they were underwater with regards to who had the puck. These kinds of stats aren’t perfect, nor are they necessarily predictors of on-ice success, but they help give a bit more insight into what’s happening on the ice. The eye-test is vital, but it’s better when there’s evidence that confirms what is being witnessed during the games.

The shots against are bad. Goals for and goals against essentially cancel each other out. In fact, across the board, the numbers for Chicago aren’t good. It doesn’t really matter what stat you look at. There are individual players that are carrying the team, but the overall story for Chicago is average at best. Teams that are ready for the postseason drive play, are tough to play against, and these things show up on the stat sheet. Chicago isn’t there yet this year.

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