Sidney Brown provides dispatches from the front lines of Blackhawks fandom every week during the hockey season.
Let the good times roll!
After starting off the season at 3-3, the Chicago Blackhawks have won six consecutive games, pushing their record to 9-3-1 and allowing the Hawks to stand alone atop the Central Division. While the young or new guys are mixing well and figuring out their roles, the veterans are leading the way, establishing identity and laying down the foundation on how the Hawks operate on the ice.
Corey Crawford: Allowed two goals or fewer in six straight games. Last 5 games — 5 goals allowed, two shutouts and a .970 save percentage.
Artem Anisimov: On current 11 game point streak (8 goals, 8 assists). Last 5 games — 3 goals, 4 assists.
Jonathan Toews: Last 5 games — 4 goals, 3 assists (scored a goal in last 3 games).
For as much as the Hawks penalty kill unit has struggled to start the year, a slow turnaround has occurred within the last couple of weeks.
Last 7 games: 21 for 25 in killing off penalties.
A Look Ahead to November
With a 4-0 start already into the second month of the season, the Hawks will continue to insert their dominance in the Western Conference but the competition will be tougher.
With only three home games this month (Washington, Montreal, Florida) and eight road games including a seven-game road trip, the Hawks will face some major tests and a chance to grade themselves against the league’s best. The end of the month road trip will take Chicago through Winnipeg, Vancouver, Los Angeles, San Jose and Anaheim.
As in years past, the Hawks have been successful on the road and for their identity to be built for 2016-17, the extended road trip will be the time that chemistry is formed.
Goals Against Average: 2.5 (10th in NHL)
Goals Per Game: 3.5 (2nd in NHL)
Power Play Percentage: 20.4 (11th in NHL)
Penalty Kill Percentage: 65.2 (30th in NHL)
Points: Artem Anisimov (17); Goals: Anisimov (8); Assists: Patrick Kane (11); Penalty Minutes: Patrick Kane (12); Goals Against Average: Corey Crawford (2.01)
The Road Ahead (Thru 11/19)
Tonight at St. Louis Blues — 7 PM
Friday vs. Washington Capitals — 7:30 PM
Sunday vs. Montreal Canadiens — 6 PM
11/15 at Winnipeg Jets — 7 PM
11/18 at Calgary Flames — 8 PM
11/19 at Vancouver Canucks — 9 PM
*All times central
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