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Three Things We’ve Learned About the Blackhawks Over the Last Three Games

The last two losses help shed light on the fears surrounding this team that fans try to avoid.

Photo: AP Photo/Matt Marton

Making the Stanley Cup Playoffs is no easy task and it’s even harder in the salary cap era. Sustained success has been difficult for many teams including our beloved Chicago Blackhawks.

The abysmal month of February (5-7-2) pretty much made Hawks fans write them off as if they were already eliminated from the playoffs, especially after the horrid Canadian road trip. However, the spark of the surprise-win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on February 27 created a new narrative for the Hawks.

Could they make this unlikely push for the post-season?

After beating Tampa, the Hawks beat a very hungry Florida Panthers team who is desperate for standings points to have any chance at the playoffs. Moving into the month of March, the Hawks destroyed the Anaheim Ducks as expected and many fans thought: the turning point is here!

On Thursday night, the Hawks had yet another surprise win over the Edmonton Oilers that extended their win streak to four games, including an amazing offensive performance, and a whole lot of this:

As of Friday morning, this was really happening. The Hawks were on a four-game win streak heading into their Friday night fight against the worst team in the league: the Detroit Red Wings. However, that was the end of the positives. The Hawks lost to the Red Wings in poor fashion. They were gassed, flat, lame, and weak. It was simply too good to be true and they barely even showed up to the Little Caesar’s Arena.

Now we arrive at the Sunday night loss to the St. Louis Blues. You would think on International Women’s Day and an entire female broadcasting crew, the Hawks would show up in extreme fashion to beat a division rival and avoid a season-sweep.

Come on Hawks, hometown girl Kendall Coyne-Schofield is there between the benches. You have to win for her!

Unfortunately that did not happen. The Hawks have struggled all year with the Blues. Even in their previous meeting, they couldn’t come out on top and they scored five goals! So now, what have we learned?

The trade of Erik Gustafsson was extremely beneficial for Adam Boqvist

I believe Four Feathers Podcast panelist Ron Luce said it best:

Since the Gustafsson trade, Boqvist has five assists in five games. He is becoming his own player without the shadow of Gus looming over his offensive production.

Last 5 Games Table
ScorScorScor AssiAssi
Rk Date Tm Opp G A PTS +/- EV PP TOI HIT BLK
12020-03-05CHIEDMW02222014:3821
22020-03-03CHIANAW02232020:0312
32020-02-29CHI@FLAW01111016:4111
42020-02-27CHI@TBLW00000011:5301
52020-02-25CHI@STLL00010015:1510
20192019201920192019201920192019201920192019201920192019201920192019201920192019201920192019201920192019201920192019201920192019201920192019201920192019
Provided by Hockey-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 3/8/2020.

Boqvist is a young player who still has a lot to learn but, now that there is nothing in his way, he can become the player the Hawks need him to be and develop into something quite special.

Corey Crawford is still an elite goaltender

After the trade of Robin Lehner and acquisition of Malcolm Subban, it was clear Crawford was the starting goalie for the remainder of the season. Since that move, Crawford has started nine consecutive games including both the Edmonton and Detroit games in the back-to-backs last week.

If you take into consideration just his numbers in 2020 he’s posting an average .924 save percentage, not including this 2-0 loss to the Blues. Also, if you exclude the one outlier loss against the Blues (6 goals against) then his average increases to .929.

Regular Season Table
GoalGoalGoalGoal
Rk Date Opp DEC GA SA SV SV% TOI
Rk Date Opp DEC GA SA SV SV% TOI
212020-01-05DETWW22119.90560:00
222020-01-07CGYLL22826.92958:01
232020-01-09NSHLL32825.89359:02
242020-01-15@MTLWW13332.97059:50
252020-01-18@TORWW23331.93959:46
262020-02-01@ARIWW24240.95265:00
272020-02-04@MINL-OTO33431.91262:21
282020-02-09@WPGLL33431.91259:14
292020-02-12@VANLL21917.89558:58
302020-02-16@WPGLL33835.92158:09
312020-02-21NSHWW14342.97763:36
322020-02-23@DALLL23331.93958:04
332020-02-25@STLLL63731.83857:50
342020-02-27@TBLWW23836.94760:00
352020-02-29@FLAWW24038.95065:00
362020-03-03ANAWW23937.94958:50
372020-03-05EDMWW32421.87559:44
382020-03-06@DETLL22523.92057:58
Provided by Hockey-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 3/8/2020.

We can eliminate Corey Crawford as “The Problem“.

The Blackhawks try against good teams

Looking over the last two months might not be the best way to tell but, the Hawks have really been playing with purpose against the teams that truly matter and they fell flat many times. The Canadian road trip, for example, had the Hawks face three teams who were ahead of them in the standings: Winnipeg, Calgary, and Vancouver. Then they came home and faced Nashville and Edmonton with a road game against Dallas sprinkled in between.

In those examples across eight games, the Hawks corsi-for was an average 51.8%. Theoretically speaking, it means the Hawks were in control more often than not in these specific games.

Regular Season Table
TeamTeamTeamTeam OppoOppoOppoOppoOppo AdvaAdvaAdva
GP Date Opponent GF GA S PPG PPO SHG S PIM PPG PPO SHG CF CA CF%
552020-02-09@Winnipeg Jets25L260303611161524852.0
562020-02-11@Edmonton Oilers35L41031316230493657.6
572020-02-12@Vancouver Canucks03L490502020130622670.5
582020-02-15@Calgary Flames84W28030428140335139.3
592020-02-16@Winnipeg Jets23L33000380000606846.9
612020-02-21Nashville Predators21W38140438050525449.1
622020-02-23@Dallas Stars12L321503310000425145.2
632020-02-25@St. Louis Blues56L30340378240314540.8
642020-02-27@Tampa Bay Lightning52W271603834050304142.3
652020-02-29@Florida Panthers32W29030406030484750.5
662020-03-03Anaheim Ducks62W40020394030625154.9
672020-03-05Edmonton Oilers43W31020244010484153.9
682020-03-06@Detroit Red Wings12L33030256120504353.8
Provided by Hockey-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 3/8/2020.

When it all boils down, the Blackhawks were not very good this season. Even if they do somehow manage to pull themselves out of the hole they’ve dug themselves into, they won’t be beating any team like the Blues, Stars, or Avalanche in a seven-game series. At this point, the best thing to hope for is young player development and avoiding major injuries.


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Husband, father, and Chicago Bears fan bringing you the noteworthy news surrounding the Monsters of the Midway, beer in hand. #Crackum

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