Tale of the Tape: Chicago Dominated November

November treated the Blackhawks well.

Kane Versteeg

Here are the Central Division standings on Nov. 1:

NHL Standings.11.1.14

As a team, the Blackhawks had a great month on paper. Chicago averaged 3.29 goals per game while allowing only 2.09 per night. The offense ranked fourth in the league (tied with Detroit) while their goals against ranked third (tied with the Islanders). The Blackhawks were the only team in the NHL with a goal per game differential greater than 1.0 in a good way; Edmonton and Columbus were outscored by more than one full goal per night on average.

The Hawks power play succeeded 12 times in 55 opportunities, good for 21.8 percent which ranked 10th in the NHL in November.

Chicago’s penalty kill was ridiculous, allowing only three power play goals against and leading the league with a 91.3 percent kill rate. What’s more, the Blackhawks allowed a power play goal in only two of 14 games in November, in a win over the Sharks and at Calgary, when they allowed two in one night.

Patrick Kane (16 points) and Kris Versteeg (15 points) both ranked among the league’s top 15 in point production in the month, each averaging more than a full point per game (14 games each).

15 players in the NHL had at least 10 assists in the month. Versteeg finished tied with nine other players at exactly 10, while Marian Hossa tied with Jakub Voracek for fourth in the NHL with 11 helpers in November.

Versteeg and Brad Richards finished November with plus-seven ratings in the month, tied for 15th in the league. Richards added 12 points (six goals, six assists) in 14 games.

Corey Crawford started all 14 games in November. He ranked:

  • second in the NHL with 9 wins (tied with Jaroslav Halak).
  • fifth in the NHL with a 1.93 goals against average in the month.
  • seventh in the NHL with a .929 save percentage in the month.

Marcus Kruger led the Hawks at the dot, winning 57 percent of this faceoffs in November. Jonathan Toews took 291 draws, tied for eighth-most in the league in the month, and won 55.7 percent. Toews added six goals and five assists in 14 games in the month.

For as top-heavy as the Blackhawks appeared to many at times in the month, only two Chicago players ranked among the top 30 forwards in average ice time per game in November. Kane (19:47) ranked 22nd and Toews (19:33) ranked 29th, respectively. Duncan Keith averaged 24:48 per night, which ranked 17th among defensemen.

Brent Seabrook was one of only ten defensemen with 10 points in November; he had four goals and six assists in 14 games. Only four defensemen had more power play assists in November than Seabrook, and he tied for the NHL lead among defensemen in power play goals.

Here are the Central Division standings at the end of the month:

NHL Standings.11.30.14

A solid month, concluded with an 8-2-0 run. And they did it without Patrick Sharp, who was lost to an injury on Nov. 4 at Montreal. The Hawks were 8-3-0 without Sharp in the lineup.

37 thoughts on “Tale of the Tape: Chicago Dominated November

  1. Tab, nice monthly wrap up. What a difference a month makes. The Hawks are playing very well against the teams currently at the top of the standings; impressively & decisively beating Montreal, Anaheim, Calgary, & Los Angeles and beating Tampa. That being said, “Barring any major injuries, I don’t see anyone beating the Hawks in a 7 game series with or without home ice advantage.”

    Love all the bantor on this site. It really adds to the enjoyment of the hockey season. Regardless of hockey knowledge, it is enjoyable reading everyone’s monday morning coaching opinions. For those that have picked up a hockey stick in their lifetimes thus proclaiming themselves as having higher hockey IQ’s, bully to you. Actually, I was thinking of word that starts with an “F” but bully serves the purpose. Keep it coming everyone and remember, “the journey is the reward” so enjoy every game and the post game dialogues on the board that Tab so graciously hosts.

    Go Hawks!!!! Can’t wait for the Blues. Hopefully, we don’t have one of those post road trip let downs. However, the Hawks have to be up for the Blues. I don’t think we’ll see that happen. Again, Go Hawks!!!!

  2. Great article Tab. Those numbers are impressive. Crawford was OUTSTANDING in November.

    Those are still pretty heavy numbers for T&K. 30 teams in the league and we have 2 guys with top 30 minutes. Hopefully they will need to skate a minute or two per game less in December. I don’t worry as much about Kane’s minutes. I worry about Towes. He takes a beating game in and game out. What 29 could not do to protect Towes, hopefully 20 will.

  3. I don’t know why Sr.Brad isn’t posting here anymore – does anyone know? He was a big contributor and I’m sorry he isn’t here anymore. Hopefully he is OK and just decided he didn’t want to hang out here anymore. Maybe he’ll change his mind.

    But in the meanwhile – Hawks are rolling. When they move the puck like they have lately they are a joy to watch (especially for Hawks fans :) ). Let’s hope they keep it going.

  4. Nice way to close out the circus trip but the next 6 days may be just as pivotal with the Blues on Weds, followed by a back-to-back with Montreal and then down to Nashville on Fri/Sat. We keep this string going we could be sitting atop the Central by the end of the weekend.

    Also an interesting article in the Trib today about the Loonie and it’s impact on the salary cap. This may very well be the Hawks last shot until they can retool the roster.

  5. All they needed to do was move him away from Shaw.

    Oh and is it OK for me to start the Patrick Sharp is expendable discussion yet?

  6. @ A.J. Yes it is perfectly acceptable to have that discussion.

    I said it at the beginning of the season Sharp WILL NEVER have a better statistically year then last season. I can’t imagine him reaching last seasons numbers missing this much time. I am extremely nervous that his return will throw things off.

    On a side note its probably time for SB to “free Jeremy Morin” from this organization.

  7. Best guess is when Sharp returns Q slots him into line-1 and Saad moves down to line-3. Not sure I’d make that decision, but regardless, you have to love the way 91 is making that line-1B gel and how 13 is playing and contributing.

    Next year is a ways off, but I believe 10 has a no-trade clause (is it “limited”?), so no assurance we can move him even if we want to.. Unfortunately, the cap picture is looking like losing 27 and 32 will not clear enough space if we want to keep 20 and 16. Been said here before that 42 (and others on the farm), can replace 16- but his FO % has been improving the past 2 years and that’s sooo critical to our puck possession game. Anyone know what Kruger’s FO #’s look like on ST’s? Anyway, I’d move Sharp if I could to keep both 16 and 20 if at all possible. This stretch of good hockey shows how good the Hawks can be even with 10 in the lineup…

  8. Awesome read Tab. I think a tip of the cap is needed to Nashville. While the Hawks finished the month strong. Nashville had a better month as far as win/loss. I think Nashville is one Rinne injury away from coming back to reality.

    Much of the Hawks recent success is because of the second line. Phenomenal. It’ll be interesting to see what they do line wise with Sharp coming back.

  9. We all know Morin is in Q’s doghouse. But do you think he has value to someone else? I ask because while 29 hasn’t been as bad as he has been. He is not a 4 million dollar player. He’s better in the playoffs but that contract still looks like an albatross. I don’t know if Morin would add value or not. Or who you could trade with. Don’t really need anymore defenseman on the NHL roster. But giving up 2 forwards you would probably want at least one back.

    I guess were stuck.

  10. I think Kruger is a terrific asset and we would be fools to lose him. I don’t you can just replace his grit, playmaking, PK skills, and grinder ways with Nordstrom. No disrespect to Nordstrom, but Kruger has hockey IQ and wisdom that you can’t just slot in with an energetic skater. He and Frolik were huge parts of the 2013 Cup team. Gotta hold on to a guy like that. And the man is humble. You don’t hear him whining about his role or not being a scorer, etc. He’s just the kind of role player we need to support the stars/core.

  11. Negzz, Capgeek shows that Sharp has a no movement clause, and a modified no trade clause. However, it does not spell out the terms of the clauses.

    I think SB has to consider the option of trading him to free up almost $6mil in cap space. A general consensus would be ‘trade Bickell before Sharp’ but there can’t be that many takers for a headcase making $4mil a year.

  12. Bummed I couldn’t see the Hawks in Anaheim or LA, darn holidays and family in town, way to cramp my style guys :) Just want to say thanks to Tab, this is my go to site for all Hawks news, as soon as my espn alert goes off that the game is over I’m hungrily awaiting the “real” wrap up on this site.

    This is a pretty good team, so far this season I’m waiting for a darn youngster to take charge of a forward roster spot but Morin doesn’t seem to be able to do it. A lot of people seem to be putting the blame on Q’s short leash, but Q ain’t out there not putting points up. The kid just hasn’t made a lot of his opportunity, no way to sugarcoat it, that’s probably my biggest disappointment to this point. Of course he’s nowhere near Bickell’s “degree of disappointment per dollar” number, but Morin doesn’t do anything in the playoffs either. Pleasant surprises were TVR (I will eat my left shoe if he plays again for the Hawks this year, tough injury), Versteeg, and I was for some reason expecting a decline in Seabrook’s play, but he hasn’t declined, so I guess that’s pleasant and surprising :) Also, Crow!

    Anyway, thanks for the site and let’s see another Cup this year… If they peak at the right time it can happen.

  13. Agree with Negzz….put Sharpie on the first line and move Saad to 3rd. Have no idea if this happens but it sure looks like the smart move. Saad with Carcillo could be some kind of dynamic. Also agree with Ivan B. about Kruger. You need guys like that, and his PK skills are superb, the reason why we are first ranked in that stat. Les Pred-a tours and the Blues will be terrific games as we are riding a wave and have some swagger. We look good guys….real good.

  14. Ernie, Bickell hasn’t achieved any degree of consistency through out his career because he lacks confidence in his play/ability. This isn’t new news, he has addressed the subject in multiple interviews, as has Q.

    His problems aren’t physical, they are mental, hence the ‘head case’ comment.

  15. Tab, is there any way we (you) can get someone here my email address. One of the guys, RD, wanted to me to get him some info on jerseys and I wasn’t sure if were allowed to post/links for things for sale on this site/these types of sites. Its not secret info or anything, just didnt want to without your permission. Thank you.

    (I left a message in the contact folder at the top of this page a wk ago or so, but no one must have saw it)(I wasn’t sure how to contact you, to ask. Other then leave a message like this in most recent thread.)

  16. RD, Ive been on the road this wk so I didn’t get access to much as we were at college alma matter for senior day wknd. I had to listen to the ANA game on 720 in Jeep. Its funny a few yrs ago we were playing ANA at daytime/3pm as well and I was Jeep driving/720 so before I left I felt a good omen. Bang it happened again. We won that one, they scored first but Dunks scored shorthanded and we won 4-1 too. I like those feelings I get. RD, remember when I said (after the 5min in 2nd period WAS and pizza redwing games)(when people were talking about transition) a long road trip would sometimes bring team together better/more and you said history has been known.

    I posted the 20-19-81, 23-91-88, 29-65, 28-16 lines the night after the redwings noshow/pizza delivery. I didn’t know, but Q put those lines in for the next game after that and bang. It feels righteous when your idea (I am sure thousands of people wanted those lines as well) is used right after you mention it and it works that well.

  17. Ernie, yea when 10 comes back, trade 11/42 to Rockford then we will bank more cap space again. Did we ltir Sharpy on the EDM date (or retroactive it to that day he got hurt). It would make more sense to keep the banked cap space we got between the time when 57 was ltir and when Danault came up. I am not sure if we have choice other then retroactive or the day we do it (ie. cannot pick any day we want inbetween).

    Kyle, do not worry about cap/NY articles. “I do not believe a word of that Florida shit” (or anyone from NY for that matter). The currency fluctuates and where it is now/projected to be will not be where it is when the league announces the cap. When the league announced the 69 cap, I was thinking 74. I Would think 72 as a lowend. (since afterall they held it 64.3 for 3 yrs in a row, other then the extra 6m on top of the cap for that ‘transition’ yr)

    We will have a plan, Bowman and the guys always do the homework before hand and we have several options (top5ish farm). I like our guys.

  18. ER, Srbrad said he was going to wait until 20-25games in to comment around the first game/Leddy trade. It is about that now. or someone pissed him off too much. Maybe the internet has been down in Mexico since then.

  19. I would love to see Stan pull off:

    To Buffalo.
    Bickel + Morin (and/or some lesser pick 4th?)

    To Chicago
    Chris Stewart

  20. mo, i know exactly what you’re talking about on the road trip etc. I could add more but it
    would probably make our heads spin too fast and cause permanent damage! Some cool stuff you posted there, thanks. Also for lookin out for me on the jersey thing. I wasnt sure on contacting either. We need private messaging, so we could waste more time hangin out here!

  21. Name, that would be a great trade for the Hawks in terms of the Cap anyway. Stewart is in his final year of his contract.

    Trading Sharp may not be easy. He loves Chicago and does not seem like the kind of guy who wants a team built around him. He would only waive his NMC if it were to a legit contender.

  22. Ivan B- Right Re: Kruger… you don’t want to lose a guy like that…
    Every open practice I have attended…16 was almost always the last guy off the ice!!!

    Hard guy not to like… Read this summer that agent/16 want to sign w/ Hawks… and are humble and realistic about $$$… That is so refreshing (if true)… in a lot of ways – kind of like the Wings/players playing on the cheap -imo – years ago.

    Re: Sharp- kind of thinking same (do you want to mess w Chemistry right now)- I sit him until Hawks start to struggle again.

    Does Crow have NTC??? Once again- if Hawks need to open Cap space next year…
    Nobody wants 29, 10-might be tough w/ NTC… next choice might be Crow (and Crow has been SOLID this year)… But w Darling playing well… And the GIANT Russian tearing up KHL… and Raanta… Hawks went from Rags (last year) to Riches at Goalie… In 1 year!!! (I think someone here predicted that- ME!!!)

  23. Um. Darling has only played a few NHL games. Still an important position and the Hawks are no longer 7 NHL calibre defenders deep.

    Everyone who Bowman signs has an NMC or an NTC of some sorts. It is pretty hilarious actually. All part of the “Bowman Special” as I like to call it.

    If Bickell blows up in the playoffs again then who cares what he does during the regular season. I’ll pass judgement on him in May.

    Any way you cut it they really need to win this year. Because unless something crazy happens with the cap there will be some turnover.

  24. “If Bickell blows up in the playoffs again then who cares what he does during the regular season. I’ll pass judgement on him in May.” – Ridiculous. The only way that is acceptable is if he sleepwalks in Rockford until the end of March. If 17 other skaters are expected to show-up every game why does Bickell get Special Dispensation?

  25. Crawford has a lower body injury and Raanta will get the start against the Blues – per NHL.com

    I don’t think it makes sense to trade Crawford as a means of relieving cap space. You could essentially shed the same cap hit by moving Bickel and Smith.

  26. Wall, not just because hes Swedish but such a good guy like 4, 16 can do deals like that to stay for many yrs. Krugs needs a wingman for the PK, but without Maverick

    Vote for Escalator.

  27. Can RFA sign with bonuses like UFA (Iginla). Saader could do a
    2/1 (caphit/player bonuses) so that it would only be a 2m caphit for that yr.

  28. re: signing bonuses for RFAs – won’t do it. If an RFA wants more money, sign a short-term bridge deal and work your ass off. There’s talk Leddy will get a huge contact from the Islanders (6-8 years, $5M+) after this bridge deal ends. I would love to see Saad take an affordable deal (2-3 years at around $3M per). The bigger question/issue is Kruger. How much is a PK specialist worth? Do you let an elite penalty killer go?

  29. Mike, I was only think for the bridge deal with Saader for player bonuses, if it helped us get threw the salary cap bottle neck. Not for a 4-5yr contract. I know we do not want to do that often but it need to once why not.

    Tab, I wasn’t sure if it was allowed. I want a bridge contract as well. Saader seems like a humble guy, that likes money, but very humble and like he always says when hes not getting deserved points. “That stuff will come its only a matter of time”.

  30. Tab, what do YOU think “a PK specialist worth”? Curious. I really like Kruger and I believe he brings good, consistent 5-on-5 play, besides if not “Elite”, “plus-plus” PK effectiveness. Some talk of Nordstrom replacing him…but, I don’t see it, at this point – their skill sets are really the same. (And, I really like Nordstrom…I’ve suggested that I hope Stan is trying to trade Morin because to me, it looks like he can’t push Nordstrom out…)

    Who knows what Saad’s agent is thinking/advising?

    (RIP Gentleman Jean Beliveau.)

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