Blackhawks Edge Kings, Finish Circus Trip With Two Straight Wins

With the team headed to an airport with tickets to Chicago, the annual Circus Trip is finally over. This year’s edition was pretty bi-polar, but ended with the Hawks capturing six of 12 points and staying on top of the Central Division.

What can we take away from the trip?

Corey Crawford wasn’t great, but he was effective. He finished with a save percentage of .891 on the trip, but was credited with all three of the Hawks’ wins and, in San Jose, allowed only one goal while taking the loss.

Jonathan Toews was both effective and great. He had 10 points (four goals, six assists) in the six games, and won 63.2 percent of his faceoffs (67 of 106) on the trip. He was also credited with two game-winning goals on the trip, both of which came in southern California.

With his 13th goal on Saturday night, Toews moved into a tie with James Neal and Claude Giroux for third in the NHL, just three behind Phil Kessel for the league lead. His team-leading 25 points are tied for sixth in the NHL, and his four game-winning goals are tied for the NHL lead.

Simply put: Captain Serious is a legitimate contender for the Hart Trophy.

Duncan Keith had an ugly middle part of the trip, and didn’t finish well with a few bad turnovers in LA and Anaheim. He did have six assists on the trip, but was minus-seven on the trip.

Also on the blue line, but a bit more positive, Nick Leddy had an assist in four of the six games and was plus-four on the trip. Leddy and Keith have 16 points each now, which is tied for the sixth-highest total among defenseman in the NHL. In fact, at the end of the trip, the statistical differences between Leddy and Keith aren’t enormous.

Patrick Sharp had five goals on the trip, while Marian Hossa five points (one goal, four assists) and Patrick Kane had four points (one goal, three assists). Quietly, rookie Marcus Kruger had an assist in all three of the Hawks wins on the trip, and Viktor Stalberg had five points (one goal, four assists).

Of course Stalberg should have had another goal in LA on Saturday night, but wide open nets are hard to hit sometimes.

The Hawks were outscored 22-17 in the three games, largely because their penalty killing was awful. After not taking a penalty in the first game of the trip in Vancouver, Chicago allowed six power play goals in 18 opportunities, a below-mediocre 67 percent kill rate.

However, Chicago’s power play found some swagger, especially with the new-look second unit. The Blackhawks converted seven of 26 power play chances on the trip, a 27 percent success rate.

Most importantly, though, the Blackhawks return to Chicago with 31 points and still on top of the division (albeit with two more games played than Detroit, which has 29 points).

13 thoughts on “Blackhawks Edge Kings, Finish Circus Trip With Two Straight Wins

  • November 27, 2011 at 4:10 am

    I can’t believe I watch Toews carry this team for such long stretches at a time. Both teams tonight look out of sync and tired. Seabrook had a few hits which had me smiling. Wish Hammer would start to throw attitude as well. We can do this.

  • November 27, 2011 at 4:21 am

    …and I LOVE the fact they didn’t have to score 5 goals in order to win.
    (Carcillo out,…Scott in…explain that one… I had that feeling when in Anaheim he played less than 7 minutes)… 67+ 81+ 88 = NOT working out. Time to bring Car bomb back on that line. Froly, Bolly and Smitty sounds good to me as a solid 3rd line. (Bickell’s line is him queuing for a bus ticket out of town for all I care……0 points the month of November…..many words for that…but here’s a good one……YAWN).
    Hey Coach….(knock on shoulder)…. Hey COACH….(whisper in ear)……..HE QUENNEVILLE !!!!!! Did you notice Brandon Pirri is making a mockery of the AHL? (btw,…looks like Rusty is starting to play too. Rostislav Olesz (forgot how to spell his last name…because he’s so irrelevant) is actually lighting the lamp in Rockford. Is it a little too late for him? I smell trade bate.

    Love the blogs C.I. ! Keep up the good work.
    Dr. G

  • November 27, 2011 at 9:57 am

    trip positives:
    1.) Toews, Sharp going to net
    2.) Bruno- finally looks o.k. w/ Kruger-Bollie ( 16-36 both high I.Q., can slow the game down- hold puck behind net and on boards, responsible on “D”)
    3.) Pirri + Rusty lighting up AHL (trade bait- good call Dr. G) Pirri is a great shooter… but non-physical, 20-25 lbs. too lite ( we already have 3 non physical, skinny centers)… only fit now is to move him to a wing. Wouldn’t mind trying him on wing w/ Hoss and Kane, but don’t know if he can play wing.

    1.) Bickell (but in perspective he is only paid $500K)
    2.) 2nd line LW (Carcillo is not the answer), (Frolik- love his forecheck, but continues to not score!!! and trending down)…

    Good news is we still have $$$$ to address 2nd line LW issue.

  • November 27, 2011 at 6:02 pm

    bobby ryan

  • November 28, 2011 at 7:05 am

    Bobby Ryan what? No way the Ducks part with him. He has a nice hit of 5.1m though.
    You would need the farm going the other way to get him plus Hammer.

  • November 28, 2011 at 10:39 am

    Carter went for Vorachek a 1st and a 3rd. And carter is a centerman.

    Bolland, bickell, Lalonde and a second should get that deal done.

  • November 28, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    Trading away David Bolland is crazy talk. Seriously. Not going anywhere.

  • November 28, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    Tab, do the Hawks have Parise on their radar as a rental? Any other names?

  • November 28, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    I don’t see how Parise fits into the long-term plans of the organization. Why would they mortgage the great depth of the organization for a 40 or 50-game rental? If Sharp wasn’t staying, then make a play for a guy to acquire and keep. But I just don’t see the Hawks moving 1/2 NHL players + 2-3 prospects/picks for a rental.

    That being said, they do have plenty of cap space to make a bold move at some point. From watching the team, people begging for another forward appear to be missing the point. This team’s defense has some holes, and if they add salary it will be to solidify the blue line before they go add another elite forward to a team that’s already deep up front.

  • November 28, 2011 at 5:49 pm

    re: Bolland going anywhere – not during the season.
    re: Bobby Ryan – I wouldn’t say he’s untouchable in Anaheim. He’s been that organization’s whipping boy for some time, and the right package might get him.
    re: Lalonde in a trade – don’t see it. Brian Connelly, who’s 4 yrs older and on a one-year deal after being an AHL All-Star, will go first. Move valuable/NHL-ready asset.

  • November 28, 2011 at 6:04 pm

    I don’t think Parise will be that expensive… Supposedly wants out ( won’t resign)… so might be cheaper than you think + I assume the Team that picks him up will only eat portion of $$$ cap.

    Any “D-men” on radar?

  • November 28, 2011 at 6:08 pm

    @ wall: Parise is absolutely going to be expensive, because Jersey wants to keep him. They’ll take the maximum value they can get at the last possible moment if he tells them he’s out. I’m not 100% sold Parise leaves Jersey.

    re: d-men… there have been so many injuries, it’s hard to tell who’s available.

  • November 28, 2011 at 9:55 pm

    what about allen (car) good dfd, the salary/yrs looks ok. He could/someone like him could stay longer term if there great w our guys…

    move any propects that arn’t going to make our roster, and use picks. To get a top 4 d-man and a decent pf that scores. We can get some picks back later and dont want to lose our good propects that are going to make us stacked once there all up. We can get both w 7mill and keep basically everyone for depth.

    Our offense will be even better with 6 quality defenseman moving puck up to forwards. Dunks and Leads can move it with 4 dfd holding. Its like having 2 soupys. Having a decent bottom pair gives us balanced consistancy and benefits the fowards a lot too.

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