Sidney Brown writes on the Blackhawks and the NHL for WARR, look for his weekly dispatches from the front lines of hockey fandom
After starting the month of November 3-0, the Chicago Blackhawks are on a current three-game losing including an embarrassing loss at home to the upstart New Jersey Devils last Sunday after blowing a 4-1 lead.
You may ask what has been the problem so far this season? Let’s start with the power play, a unit that’s ranked 27th in the NHL, has gone 4-22 thus far this month. Other issues: defensemen not helping out Corey Crawford or Anton Forsberg in clearing pucks from the net area, committing dumb penalties and stars NOT playing like stars.
Staying positive on the bright side, though — the penalty kill unit is 15 of 17 in shutting down the opposition this month.
November Stats (Thru 6 Games)
Patrick Kane: 1 goal, 4 assists
Jonathan Toews: G, 2A
Patrick Sharp: No Points (On a current seven game pointless streak)
Richard Panik: 2A
Brandon Saad: G (Game winning Goal last Saturday at Carolina)
Artem Anisimov: 3G, A
The clear MVP for Chicago is starting goaltender Corey Crawford, who was named the NHL’s #1 Star of the Week for the week ending on 11/5. Crawford can only do so much and fatigue can settle in for a player with pressure trying to carry his team. The shutout streak was great while it lasted but it’s time for his teammates to carry the weight off his shoulders.
Corey Crawford’s Shutout Streak (Ended 11/5)
Time of Shutout: 173:09
Total Shots Faced: 84
Total Shots Stopped: 84
The beasts of the Eastern Conference are on the horizon with the schedule along with two division foes to end the month of November, the time is now for the Hawks to show who they’re made of and it starts by playing smart disciplined hockey, taking pressure off the goaltender, controlling the puck and stars stepping up to score goals.
If none of these things happen, little whispers may grow louder and perhaps call for a change at head coach. With the Western Conference down competitvely, there’s still a chance for the Hawks to make up ground and re-establish themselves as Cup contenders.
To Corey Crawford for being named the NHL’s First Star of the Week on Nov. 6th.
To Hawks legend Al Secord for being honored before Sunday’s game against New Jersey with a One More Shift pregame skate.
To Brent Seabrook for passing Doug Wilson for second place (939) on the list of most games played in the regular season by a Hawks defensemen in last Thursday’s game at Philadelphia.
Points: Patrick Kane (17)
Goals: Brandon Saad (7)
Assists: Patrick Kane (11)
Penalty Minutes: Richard Panik (20)
Goals Against Average: Corey Crawford (2.21)
Goals Per Game: 2.9 (13th in NHL)
Goals Against: 2.7 (9th in NHL)
Penalty Kill Percentage: 83.6 (10th in NHL)
Power Play Percentage: 14.3 (27th in NHL)
The Road Ahead (thru 11/30)
Wednesday vs. New York Rangers @ 7 pm
Saturday at Pittsburgh Penguins @ 6 pm
11/22 at Tampa Bay Lightning @ 6:30 pm
11/25 at Florida Panthers @ 6 pm
11/27 vs. Anaheim Ducks @ 7:30 pm
11/28 at Nashville Predators @ 7 pm
11/30 vs. Dallas Stars @ 7:30 pm
*All times central
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