With October in the books, the Blackhawks will spend most of November on the road. But looking back at October, one player on the Hawks roster outplayed his expectations in the season’s first month.
Consider the following comparison of five Octobers:
Care to guess who belongs to which season?
Fans should be able to pick out immediately that we’re probably comparing defensemen because of the time on ice numbers listed, especially in the first four Seasons of the comparison.
But this is where the comparison becomes not only interesting, but a source a great hope for the coming months.
Seasons 1 and 3 are from 2008-09.
Season 1 is Brian Campbell.
Season 3 is Duncan Keith.
That was the first season the Hawks had both Campbell and Keith on the same roster. Campbell finished the 2008-09 season with 52 points (seven goals, 45 assists), and Keith finished with 44 points (eight goals, 36 assists). Campbell was plus-five, and Keith was plus-33 that year.
Seasons 2 and 4 are from 2009-10.
Season 2 is Campbell.
Season 4 is Keith.
The second season the two were together, the Hawks (obviously) went on to win the Stanley Cup. Keith led the way that year on the blue line, winning the Norris Trophy after posting 69 points (14 goals, 55 assists) and a plus-21 rating. Campbell missed some time at the end of the year (thanks, Ovechkin), but still registered 38 points (seven goals, 31 assists) and a plus-18 rating.
Season 5 is Nick Leddy’s October 2011.
To compare the complete body of work of Leddy to veterans Keith and Campbell in those two years would be getting ahead of ourselves, but offensively there is no question that Leddy put up numbers that are at least on par with the two elite puck-moving defensemen the Hawks had leading their blue line in the last few years.
There were fears that Leddy couldn’t replace Campbell. Well, at least in the box scores, he has so far.