By Sidney Brown (@sidkid80)
In this edition of “As The Hawks Turn,” brought to you by Binny’s Beverage Depot — cause Rocky Wirtz is gonna get his regardless — the month of December has not been kind to the Men In Red.
On one level recent games haven’t been too bad for the Chicago Blackhawks, who have taken seven out of ten available standings points, but are still only 3-7-1 in their last 11 games with all development signs around the team continuing to trend downwards.
One major problem this season has been slow starts given up by the Hawks and the first period goals resulting from them. Chicago has allowed 19 first period goals for the month of December and 41 overall, very much an exposure to inconsistencies on defense. The offense has had their own struggles, though they have scored a whopping total of 28 goals on the month they’ve only gone 3 of 41 on the power play while opponents have scored in 14 of 44 chances they’ve had.
But wait, there’s more… the ghost of bad luck returned when starting goalie Corey Crawford left last Sunday’s 7-3 loss to San Jose with a concussion, his second in as many seasons, after colliding with teammate Dylan Strome. Crawford’s impact on the ice cannot be ignored, especially over the last two seasons where his absence seemingly sinks the Hawks.
- 35 Games last year: 17-13-5 record
- 35 Games this year: 10-19-6 record
- First four games: 3-1-0 record, 1.52 Goals Against, .946 Save %
- Last 19 games: 3-13-2 record, 3.67 GAA, .893 SV%
Who will step up in Crawford’s absence? Options are low within the pipes themselves. Will the young prospects continue to develop? A lot of that will have to depend on whether new head coach Jeremy Colliton can finally start to get his message across to the entire team, which is a very relevant question in of itself.
Are there are trades to be made on the horizon? Will the Hawks have to say goodbye to more beloved long-time players? Will any said players be off the roster before it most likely embarrasses itself on the national stage at the Winter Classic on New Year’s Day?
Tune in next time for another exciting episode of “As The Hawks Turn,” brought to you by Binny’s Beverage Depot! — cause why suffer through this while sober.
- Goals: Jonathan Toews (16)
- Assists: Patrick Kane (24)
- Points: Patrick Kane (39)
- Penalty Minutes: Duncan Keith (50)
- Goals Against Average: Corey Crawford (3.28)
- Goals Per Game: 2.81 (22nd in NHL)
- Goals Against: 3.75 (30th in NHL)
- Power Play Percentage: 12.0 (30th in NHL)
The Road Ahead (All Times Central)
- Tonight at Dallas Stars — 7:30 pm
- Friday at Colorado Avalanche — 8 pm
- Sunday vs. Florida Panthers — 6 pm
- 12/27 vs. Minnesota Wild — 7:30 pm
- 12/29 at Colorado Avalanche — 8 pm
Sidney Brown covers the Chicago Blackhawks for WARR