Blackhawks report card following an inevitably bad season

We knew the Chicago Blackhawks 2023-24 season wouldn’t have an ideal finish, but it’s easier to cope with when expected.
Chicago Blackhawks v Los Angeles Kings
Chicago Blackhawks v Los Angeles Kings / Harry How/GettyImages
3 of 4

Special teams still have a long way to go

When a team tanks, drafts a generational talent, and continues to tank, you won’t end up with any good numbers, and special teams are no different. That said, Chicago ironically stacked up better than you may have initially thought, as they finished 27th in the NHL in penalty kill percentage with 75.76. 

Not good, and again, this article isn’t intended to compare the Blackhawks numbers to the rest of the league. But given how bad things seemed and were even supposed to be this season, finishing 27th in the PK is rather encouraging. 

While their power play percentage of 16.60 was ranked last in the West, it was better than four teams in the East, putting them at 28th overall. From a conversion percentage and penalty kill standpoint, the Blackhawks outplayed expectations here, albeit slightly, so they’re getting a C-plus for this one. 

It was tempting to give them a B-minus, but it’s not like this team significantly outperformed what most thought they would end with. Still, they played well given the low standard everyone held them to this season, and it should at least give the group some confidence that their special teams could even reach the lower-middle portion of the league.