On Saturday night, the Blackhawks played their 41st game of the 2013-14 season. With a 27-7-7 record half-way into their Stanley Cup title defense, let’s look at how the Hawks have performed so far this season.
41 games, 23 goals, 30 assists, 53 points, +11
Kane ranks second in the NHL in points (behind Sidney Crosby), third in the NHL in goals (behind Alexander Ovechkin and Alexander Steen), second in the league with six game-winning goals (behind Corey Perry), and second in the NHL with nine power play goals (behind Ovechkin). Through Saturday night, Kane has a point in every game the Hawks have played in December, and was the NHL’s #1 Star for November. Kane also has 32 takeaways, which is tied for 13th in the NHL. He’s a legitimate MVP candidate and is playing the best hockey of his career.
41 games, 22 goals, 19 assists, 41 points, +18
With his goal on Saturday night, Sharp has 12 goals in 13 games in December. He is now tied for sixth in the league in points, and is tied for fourth in the league in goals. In December, he has six power play goals and five multi-point games.
41 games, 15 goals, 25 assists, 40 points, +16
There are 10 players in the NHL with at least 40 points through Saturday night and three of them are Blackhawks. Toews is also winning 56.8 percent of his faceoffs, and his 30 takeaways are tied for 16th in the league (but only fourth on the Hawks).
36 games, 14 goals, 20 assists, 34 points, +19
Hossa has missed five games, but his 47 takeaways are tied with Pavel Datsyuk for the NHL lead through Saturday night. With Toews and Sharp, the Hawks’ top line is the most lethal in the NHL right now. He is tied for fourth in the NHL in plus-minus (with Brent Seabrook, Chris Kunitz, Dustin Penner and Francois Beauchemin).
41 games, 4 goals, 12 assists, 16 points, +4
Kruger is winning 57.8 percent of his faceoffs, which ranks sixth in the NHL and at the top of the Hawks’ most improved stats over the season’s first half. The penalty kill continues to be a source of frustration, but Kruger has been strong for his part of the PK; he has won 60.5 percent of his short-handed faceoffs this season. Kruger also leads Hawks forwards with 40 blocked shots.
41 games, 13 goals, 16 assists, 29 points, +15
Saad is second on the Hawks with 36 takeaways, and has been a consistent producer in spite of being moved to the third line for most of the season. He has 11 points (six goals, five assists) in 13 games in December.
39 games, 11 goals, 10 assists, 21 points, +9
Shaw is only winning 43.3 percent of his faceoffs this year, but has four power play goals and his 98 hits ranks second on the team behind only Brent Seabrook. He has taken a number of bad penalties, however, and needs to limit his time in the box in the second half of the season. There are 116 forwards in the NHL with at least 21 points, and six of them are Blackhawks.
22 games, 6 goals, 9 assists, 15 points, +7
Since being acquired from Florida, Versteeg has settled into a role on the second line with Kane and Michal Handzus. He has points in eight of 13 games in December, including one game-winning goal.
34 games, 4 goals, 8 assists, 12 points, +3
Smith picked up an assist in St. Louis on Saturday night, only his third point in December. He has been a solid fourth line player, ranking second among Hawks forwards with 24 blocked shots.
27 games, 6 goals, 1 assist, 7 points, -2
Bickell missed 14 games with a lower-body injury, but his season has been the biggest disappointment on the roster to date. He is the only player on the team with more than four games played with a negative plus-minus, and he’s averaging less than 1.5 shots on goal per game (41 shots) through Saturday night.
24 games, 4 goals, 6 assists, 10 points, +4Handzus may have been lightning in a bottle during the Hawks’ run to the Cup in the spring, but he has been far from a godsend as a second line center this year. He’s missed 17 games, and is winning only 48.9 percent of his faceoffs. He’s old and slow… but he has one short-handed goal and two game-winning goals through Saturday night.
41 games, 3 goals, 5 assists, 8 points, +1
Bollig has played in every game for the Hawks this season. His 61 penalty minutes rank 22nd in the NHL. Bollig has one point – an assist – in December.
Brandon Pirri – 24 games, 6 goals, 5 assists, 11 points
Jeremy Morin – 15 games, 1 goal, 4 assists, 5 points
Joakim Nordstrom – 10 games, 1 goal, 1 assist, 2 points
41 games, 3 goals, 35 assists, 38 points, +15
Keith is second in the NHL with 35 assists (behind only Joe Thornton), and his 38 points lead all NHL defensemen through Saturday night. He has also been credited with 48 blocked shots and 26 takeaways in the first half of the 2013-14 season. Keith is playing at a Norris Trophy level, and will undoubtedly be a top pair defenseman for Canada in Sochi.
41 games, 4 goals, 24 assists, 28 points, +19
Seabrook is tied for third among all NHL defenseman in points, and he ranks third among all defensemen in assists. His 100 hits ranks eighth among defensemen, and his 70 blocked shots are tied for 25th in the league. After a 2013 season that was rough at times, Seabrook has returned to top-tier form this season.
41 games, 3 goals, 14 assists, 17 points, +15
Hjalmarsson leads the Blackhawks with 77 blocked shots, and has already tied his career-high with 17 points. He also leads the Blackhawks with 48 giveaways, though.
41 games, 2 goals, 8 assists, 10 points, +13
He has had good games in the first half of the season, but has also had some ugly nights as well. Oduya has been credited with 67 blocked shots and 30 hits through Saturday night.
41 games, 5 goals, 13 assists, 18 points, +9
Leddy has three power play goals and has spent an average of 2:00 on the ice with a man advantage this year. He has been credited with 22 blocked shots and 28 hits this year.
Michal Rozsival – 22 games, 0 goals, 4 assists, 4 points, +1
Sheldon Brookbank – 24 games, 1 goal, 2 assists, 3 points, +3
Mike Kostka – 5 games, 2 goals, 1 assists, 3 points, +1
Both Brookbank and Kostka have been credited with game-winning goals, and Brookbank has spent part of the season as a forward while a number of veterans dealt with injuries.
27 games, 17-6-3, 2.47 goals against average, .907 save percentage
Crawford left the Hawks’ home game against the Florida Panthers on Dec. 8 with an injury and hasn’t been back on the ice in a game yet. He played in 13 games in November, and was relied upon heavily in the early going before the Hawks found a quality back-up. He is expected back early in the new year.
14 games, 9-1-3, 2.38 goals against average, .906 save percentage
Raanta’s numbers took a serious hit in St. Louis, but he’s still been very since being forced into the starting lineup after Crawford’s injury. The Blackhawks will have to make a decision if/when Khabibulin is healthy enough to play again.
4 games, 1-0-1, 5.00 goals against average, .811 save percentage
Khabibulin saw action in four games and sucked.
3.73 goals per game (1st in NHL)
2.68 goals against per game (15th in NHL)
Chicago’s 153 goals are 23 more than the Blues, who are second in the league through Saturday night’s action; 16 teams haven’t scored as many total goals as the Hawks have during just 5-on-5 play (103) this season.
The Blackhawks have 350 takeaways as a team, which ranks second in the league (behind Carolina). As a team, the Hawks are winning 51.5 percent of their faceoffs, which ranks 10th in the league. With 517 blocked shots, the Hawks rank only 19th in the league, and their 715 hits rank 28th through Saturday night.
Power Play – 24.8 percent (2nd in NHL)
Penalty Kill – 76.0 percent (28th in NHL)
Last year, the Hawks’ special teams were the reverse of where they stand today. Chicago’s power play has been lethal all season, but the penalty kill has been the biggest Achilles’ heel for the team to date.