The Chicago Blackhawks gave fans a lot to be excited about during the 2011 calendar year. There have been some highs and lows, some intriguing names added and familiar faces removed. Some guys have been impressive, and others have made fans scratch their heads.
In all, 2011 has been a fascinating year. Let’s look back.
There were 11 skaters that were member of the Blackhawks from Jan. 1 to Dec. 30 this year. The production from those 11 players is interesting. Here are the numbers:
A recent target of some angst from Hawks fans has been Michael Frolik, who was acquired from Florida on Feb. 9 in a five-player trade. His production has been underwhelming in the time he’s been with Chicago:
It’s hard to look at the top-end talent on this roster and not be amazed. Toews and Hossa were point-per-game players this year, while Kane and Sharp were one good game away from qualifying as well.
Three players on the Hawks scored over 30 goals this year, and Kane had an impressive 55 assists in 81 contests. Two Hawks, Kane and Toews, were over 80 points this year. Also, having five players that were plus-20 or better is a great stat.
But there are also a few surprises. Who would have thought that one of the two Hawks to accumulate over 50 penalty minutes this year would be Sharp (with Bickell)? And who would have thought that Leddy would have more points than Bickell?
Perhaps the most surprising stat of the 2011 calendar year is the team leaders in game-winning goals. Toews owns the top of the leader board with 10, and Sharp is second with six. But in third on the team with four is… Stalberg. Hossa, Kane, Seabrook and Bolland were credited with two game-winners each, and Bickell had one.
Toews was compelling across the board. Not only was he the team leader in goals, points and plus-minus, but he won an astounding 925 of 1,621 total faceoffs (57.06 percent).
The most disappointing line of the year clearly goes to Bickell. He has the worst plus-minus on the roster, and it’s surprising to see that he’s been outperformed by Stalberg. Of course, Bickell putting up zero points in 13 games in November left an enormous impact on his stat line, but the minus-seven with 56 penalty minutes isn’t good at all.
For Corey Crawford’s efforts during this calendar year, he has certainly earned his new contract. Here are his numbers during the 2011 year:
His save percentage hasn’t been as good during the 2011-12 season (.906) as it was in the spring (.918), but his work as a whole has been strong. His win over Detroit improved his record in the 2011-12 season to 15-8-2 after he finished the season with a 22-12-5 record in the spring.
We have also seen some new faces in Chicago for the first time. Jimmy Hayes was the latest NHL debut in the final game of the calendar year, but there have been other names to be excited about as well. Marcus Kruger made his debut at the end of March, and Brandon Saad started the new season with the Hawks.