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Chicago Blackhawks February Grade: Making The Case For The Playoffs

Patrick Kane #88, Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Patrick Kane #88, Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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The month of February was one to remember for the Chicago Blackhawks in 2021. After starting the season poorly in January, they turned things around and are now involved in the playoff conversation. Let’s break down the numbers for the ‘Hawks.

The Chicago Blackhawks finished the month of February with a record of 9-3-1, not bad for a team that began the season with a 3-4-3 record in January. The Blackhawks never quit during February, and that was amazing to see. The team never lost back-to-back games and even went on a few three-game-winning streaks during the month.

Only one team had more points than the Blackhawks during the month of February. Tampa Bay finished the month with a record of 10-3-0 and had 20 points, now the two teams seemed to be in similar boats, but it is worth noting that Tampa Bay also played better in January.

Chicago had to work rather hard to get a lot of their wins, and nothing was guaranteed against some of the higher-end teams. While March will be a million times harder for the team, February did present some obstacles, and Chicago overcame many of them.

Who led the Chicago Blackhawks during the month of February?

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Chicago had the second-best power play in the entire NHL, finishing the month with a 33.3% on the man advantage. Their penalty kill numbers were anything but great at 71%, and that is shocking as I didn’t think they did that bad.

One area the team needs to improve is helping out their goalies. The past few seasons, Chicago has been one of the worst teams in the league when it comes to shots on goal against, and that number is still high at 34.2 shots on goal per game on average. That is the highest total in the league, even above teams like the Kings and Sharks.

Some individual players deserve some shout-outs for how well the team played during February. Patrick Kane led the entire NHL in points at 24, and his 17 assists were a league-best as well. Third on the list in the entire NHL was Alex DeBrincat with nine goals and ten assists. Those two Blackhawks deserve a lot of credit for the team’s success.

The last Blackhawk that should be recognized should not come as a surprise. Kevin Lankinen led the entire NHL with 299 saves, and his .917 save percentage was the seventh-best in the league. For a rookie stepping into the NHL, Lankinen does not look overwhelmed one bit.

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I am giving the Blackhawks an A- grade for how well the team played during February. This month seriously made the case that Chicago could sneak into the playoffs, as the fourth spot in the Central is definitely up for grabs. Now all the team needs to do is play some good, hardworking hockey during March, and then maybe we will see them playing come playoff time.

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