With just one game left before the Blackhawks head to the holiday break, Chicago is looking up at only one team in the division race. But the Hawks are used to being at or near the top of their division when the holiday break comes. Since the 2009-10 season, the Blackhawks have been no lower than second place in their division on Christmas Day.
Here is the Blackhawks’ Christmas benchmarks for the last six seasons:
- 2009: 1st place
24-9-3 (51 points), 104 goals for, 77 goals against (+27)
- 2010: 2nd place
19-14-3 (41 points), 113 GF, 108 GA (+5)
- 2011: 1st place
22-9-4 (48 points), 114 GF, 106 GA (+8)
- 2012: lockout
- 2013: 1st place
26-7-6 (58 points), 145 GF, 111 GA (+34)
- 2014: 1st place
23-10-2 (48 points), 107 GF, 74 GA (+33)
- 2015: 2nd place
20-11-4 (44 points), 96 GF, 83 GA (+13)
The Hawks have been at least plus-20 as a team at Christmas in three of the last six seasons, and were plus-27 and plus-33 in the two seasons in which they won the Stanley Cup.
It’s worth noting as well that, while the goals scored by the Hawks this season are the lowest of the last six seasons, the Hawks are on pace with the two other Cup seasons defensively; this is only the third time in six seasons the Hawks will be under 100 goals allowed at Christmas, with the other two seasons resulting in a championship the following summer.
As we look around the Western Conference this season, the Blackhawks appear to be positioned well in spite of the flaws fans point out regularly. Only two teams – Dallas and Colorado – have scored more goals than the Blackhawks to date, and only two teams – Los Angeles and Minnesota – have allowed fewer goals than the Hawks.
What will the rest of the season bring? Considering their history, the Hawks could be looking at another deep run in the Western Conference playoffs.