The Blackhawks owned the month of February, led by a line featuring a resurgent captain and two red-hot wings.
Chicago finished February with a 9-1-0 record, only losing to Edmonton in their first game back after the week layoff. The Hawks out-scored opponents 44-24 in the month. And, as a team, the Hawks won 50.3 percent of their faceoffs in February.
Entering Tuesday, Chicago is 12 points in front of Nashville in second in the Central Division, and have closed the gap with Minnesota. In February, Chicago’s power play scored at a 29.2 percent rate, which ranks fifth in the NHL.
Back on Feb. 9, we talked about how Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews was starting to develop chemistry with his new line. At that time, a couple weeks into the experiment, Richard Panik and rookie Nick Schmaltz were starting to show signs of a line that could be dangerous.
They haven’t stopped producing, led by Toews’ dominant February.
Toews since Jan. 17:
- Games: 16
- Points: 25 – leads NHL
- Goals: 9 – tied for 12th in the NHL
- Assists: 16 – tied for NHL lead
- Game-Winning Goals: 3 – tied for 2nd in NHL
Toews is also winning 56.3 percent of his faceoffs since Jan. 17.
Over those same 16 games, Panik has 15 points (six goals, nine assists) and Schmaltz has 13 points (five goals, eight assists).
Since Jan. 17, only four rookies have more points than Schmaltz: Auston Matthews (17 points in 20 games), Patrik Laine (17 points in 13 games), William Nylander (15 points in 20 games) and Matthew Tkachuk (14 points in 17 games). However, all 13 of Schmaltz’s points have come at even strength; among rookies, only Laine (16) has more even-strength points since Jan. 17 than Schmaltz.
As the Toews’ line has exploded, the Hawks haven’t been a one-line offense. Patrick Kane has 18 points (ten goals, eight assists) in his last 16 games. Over the same stretch, Artemi Panarin (two goals, ten assists) and Marian Hossa (five goals, seven assists) have 12 points each as well.