Sidney Brown provides dispatches from the front lines of Blackhawks fandom every week during the hockey season.
In any season, there are going to be bumps along the way and adversity you must overcome in order to have a successful season.
As the Hawks enter the month of December, injuries is the latest hurdle in missing key players with the likes of captain Jonathan Toews, Brent Seabrook and Corey Crawford. With some of their key veterans out of the lineup, the Hawks have struggled to score goals while leaning on their strong goaltending from Scott Darling.
Last Ten Games (4-4-2 Record)*
Games Scoring Fewer Than Two Goals: 7
Power Play: 2 for 23
Games Outshot Opponent: 2
Faceoff Percentage: 45.3
* = Before Sunday’s Game vs. Dallas
Despite their recent struggles to start the month (2-2-1), the Hawks still hold the top spot in their division and the Western Conference. Minus some their stars, here are some other stars who are keeping the ship afloat.
Marian Hossa: 4 Goals
Patrick Kane: 5 Assists
Artemi Panarin: 3 Goals
Artem Anisimov: 3 Goals, Assist
Scott Darling: 2-2-1 Record, 1.41 Goals Against, .952 Save %, 1 Shutout
Signs may be pointing upwards as the Hawks embark on their three game road trip which will take them through New York City (Rangers and Islanders) and division rival St. Louis.
The return of Seabrook and Toews should and will give the team a much needed boost not only in the scoring department but in the special teams area. The Hawks are in the middle road when it comes to scoring goals (14th in NHL) and trending towards the bottom half with their power play (18th in NHL).
For the month, Chicago is 2 for 15 with their man advantage and 11 for 13 with their penalty kill. If the scoring improves, life will be much easier for Darling along with the defense men in front of him.
This coming road trip should give us a much clear sign of who the Hawks really are with some of their stars returning and are fortunate that their record is good enough in a struggling Western Conference that it gives them time to figure things out for the long run.
To the Blackhawks organization for honoring former player Steve Larmer before Friday’s game against the New York Rangers. Larmer has numbers that ranks with some of the best that’s ever played the game of hockey. Many fans and experts have campaigned for Larmer’s spot in the Hockey Hall of Fame, will he get the call sooner rather than later?
Career With Blackhawks
Power Play Goals: 153
Calder Trophy Winner in 1982-83 season (Top Rookie)
Goals Against Average: 2.3 (6th in NHL)
Goals Per Game: 2.6 (14th in NHL)
Power Play Percentage: 16.7 (18th in NHL)
Penalty Kill Percentage: 72.7 (30th in NHL)
Points: Patrick Kane (28); Goals: Marian Hossa (15); Assists: Kane (20); Penalty Minutes: Marcus Kruger, Kane (18); Goals Against Average: Scott Darling (2.12)
The Road Ahead (Thru 12/23)
Tuesday at NY Rangers — Final (2-1 Hawks)
Thursday at NY Islanders — 6 PM
Saturday at St. Louis Blues — 7 PM
Sunday vs. San Jose Sharks — 6 PM
12/20 vs. Ottawa Senators — 7:30 PM
12/23 vs. Colorado Avalanche — 7:30 PM
*All times central
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