By Sidney Brown (@sidkid80)
For a team that is trying to figure out its identity, a 3-0-2 start was something that was needed, but the winning start was not to be expected, especially the way it happened.
In their record-breaking five-game overtime streak to begin the season, the Chicago Blackhawks have scored 22 goals, a huge factor for their wins, but they’ve allowed 21 goals as well, a huge factor itself in the team having to go deep in all its contests, regardless of wins or losses.
Leading the way so far is Jonathan Toews (5 goals, 4 assists) and Patrick Kane (5G, 3A) making their presence felt as usual in providing leadership, but second-year standout Alex DeBrincat (6G, 3A) has made the most of his opportunities playing on the top line with Toews and on the first unit on the power play.
Chicago Blackhawks Can’t Sustain Overtime Mode All Season (Blackhawk Up)
A couple of new faces Hawks fans should get use to seeing are defenseman Henri Jokiharju (5A) who has played as the team’s top blue liner and Dominik Kahun (G, 3A) who has brought speed and skill to the third line.
Toews on Top
As a player on a mission this year, Captain Serious made history with his strong start scoring-wise while playing overall like an early-season MVP candidate.
Games with Hat Trick and Overtime Goal
- Curt Fraser – 2/13/86 (Toronto)
- Eric Daze – 12/30/01 (Ottawa)
- Tyler Arnason – 3/19/04 (Vancouver)
- Jeff Hamilton – 12/2/06 (Nashville)
- Jonathan Toews – 10/6/18 (St. Louis)
Newcomer backup goalie Cam Ward (3-0-2 record, .879 Save %, 4.07 Goals Against) has stood tall filling in net for starter Corey Crawford in spite of questionable defensive play and inconsistency from the D-men.
The overtime losses at St. Louis and Minnesota are prime examples of mistakes occurring in late stages of games but help is on the way as Crawford will make his season debut in tonight’s game against Arizona after missing nearly nine months of action. Crawford was playing at Vezna Trophy level before his injury sidelined him in late 2017.
Will the fortunes of the team turnaround and will the young defensive core pick up the slack in front of Crawford? An above average level of play on defense will definitely compliment the once-again consistent scoring.
*To Duncan Keith for playing in his 1,000th game with the Hawks in last Saturday’s win against St. Louis. Keith joins exclusive company for games played in the iconic red sweater, only Stan Mikita (1,396), Bobby Hull (1,036), Eric Nesterenko (1,013) and Bob Murray (1,008) have played more for the franchise.
*To Patrick Kane for becoming the first player in NHL history to score two game-tying goals within 90 seconds in last Sunday’s 7-6 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs.
- Goals: Alex DeBrincat (6)
- Assists: Henri Jokiharju (5)
- Points: Jonathan Toews (9)
- Penalty Minutes: Four players tied with 4
- Goals Against Average: Cam Ward (4.07)
- Goals Per Game: 4.40 (3rd in NHL)
- Goals Against: 4.20 (30th in NHL)
- Power Play Percentage: 11.1 (24th in NHL)
The Road Ahead (all times central)
- Thursday vs. Arizona Coyotes — 7:30 pm
- Saturday @ Columbus Blue Jackets — 6 pm
- Sunday vs. Tampa Bay Lightning — 6 pm
- 10/23 vs. Anaheim Ducks — 7:30 pm
- 10/25 vs. New York Rangers — 7:30 pm
- 10/27 @ St. Louis Blues — 7 pm
- 10/28 vs. Edmonton Oilers — 5 pm
- 10/31 @ Vancouver Canucks — 9 pm
Sidney Brown covers the Chicago Blackhawks for WARR