Blackhawks

From Rinkside: Hawks-Blues By the Numbers

From Rinkside: Hawks-Blues By the Numbers

Wednesday, April 7, 2010
6:30 PM

By Brett Ballantini
CSNChicago.com

A look at the numbers and trends for the Chicago Blackhawks prior to their Wednesday game vs. the St. Louis Blues

.722: The Blackhawks have a combined 12-4-2 record against their four prospective quarterfinals opponents (Nashville Predators, Detroit Red Wings, Los Angeles Kings and Colorado Avalanche). Thats a .722 points percentage.

.861: No team has had more back-to-backs this season than Chicagos 19. Heading into the hind end of their final back-to-back, the Blackhawks are 7-9-3 in first games and 14-1-3 (a .861 points percentage!) in the second.

.929: Antti Niemi has a .929 save percentage over his last 11 starts.

1: Jonathan Toewss shorthanded goal last night was the first of his career.

1.07: Niemi has a meager 1.07 goals-against average in his past four games.

2.54: Niemi is 2-1-0 with a 2.54 goals-against average vs. St. Louis this season.

4: Patrick Sharp has four goals against the Bluesbut all of them have come in St. Louis.

5: The five Blackhawks penalties in last nights second period matched the number Chicago was whistled for in its previous four games.

7: Toews is the team scoring leader vs. the Blues this season, with seven points (goal, six assists). Hossa has three goals and three assists.

10: Only 10 Blackhawks have had at least 30 goals and 50 assists in the same season: Jeremy Roenick, Steve Larmer, Denis Savard, Troy Murray, Tom Lysiak, Stan Mikita, Jim Pappin, Dennis Hull, Bobby Hull and Patrick Kane.

12: Chicago leads the NHL with 12 shorthanded goals; no other team has more than nine.

16: Last night was Colin Frasers first career NHL multi-goal game. With 16 points, hes just one point shy of his career best, set last year.

20:05: Keiths 20:05 ice last night was his lowest of the season and least since March 29, 2009 vs. the Vancouver Canucks, when he logged 17:19.

24: Marian Hossa is second on the team in goals (24) despite missing the first 22 games of the season and 25 total.

35: If you strip away the new-school (overtimeshootout) scoring from the 2009-10 Blackhawks to fairly compare eras, Chicagos season record would stand at 35-22-22 (92 points).

36: Hossas road hockey goal 36 seconds into the game last night is the fastest of the season for the Blackhawks this season, eclipsing Toewss tally 44 seconds into Chicagos win at the Edmonton Oilers on Jan. 26

79: With Troy Brouwer missing the game last night, only five Blackhawks have played all 79 Blackhawks games: Dustin Byfuglien, Andrew Ladd, Patrick Sharp, Kane and Keith.

85: Kanes 85 points are the most for a Blackhawk since 1993-94, when Roenick had 107.

207: Chicago has now lost 207 man-games to injury so far this season; last years season total was 179.

Brett Ballantini isCSNChicago.com's Blackhawks Insider. Follow him @CSNChi_Beatnikon Twitter for up-to-the-minute Hawksinformation.

Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks hit road to face Blue Jackets

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NBC Sports Chicago

Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks hit road to face Blue Jackets

Here are Three Things to Watch when the Blackhawks take on the Columbus Blue Jackets tonight on NBC Sports Chicago and streaming live on the NBC Sports app. Coverage begins at 5:30 p.m. with Blackhawks Pregame Live.

1. One big reunion.

The Blackhawks will square off with the Blue Jackets for the first time since Oct. 7, which was the second game of the season. In that game, they won 5-1 led by Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Brandon Saad, each of whom scored a goal and added an assist.

Of course, that was the first game since the offseason trade that sent Artemi Panarin to Columbus and Saad back to Chicago, along with Anton Forsberg. Artem Anisimov, of course, was part of the original deal that sent Saad to Columbus in 2015, so there are a lot of emotional ties between the two teams.

Forsberg didn't get a chance to face the Blue Jackets in the first meeting, but there's a chance he will this time with it being the second of a back-to-back and Jean-Francois Berube getting the start in Friday's 3-1 win over San Jose.

2. Panarin and Kane bromance.

The emotions of a difficult break-up have probably died down by now, but Panarin and Kane gave us this moment at center ice during pregame warmups in their first game against each other and it hit Chicago right in the feels:

Panarin has spent enough time apart from Kane for people to realize how big of a star he is in his own right, leading the Blue Jackets in all three scoring categories: goals (17), assists (32) and points (49).

He hasn't gone more than three games this season without recording a point, and is looking to extend his point streak to four games, which would tie a season high.

3. Struggling Blue Jackets special teams.

The Blue Jackets got off to a great start but are barely clinging onto a wild card spot going into Saturday's game, and a big reason for that slide is their lack of success on special teams. Usually one can pick up the slack for the other, but they've been brutal in both departments.

The Blue Jackets are 0-for-9 on the power play in their past five games and are ranked 31st overall, converting on only 14.1 percent of their opportunities. They also have own the 27th-ranked penalty kill with a 76.3 percent success rate.

So if there's an area the Blackhawks can exploit, it's that. But, you know, still be mindful of that Russian winger's one-timer from the faceoff circle.

Jean-Francois Berube impressed in his first Blackhawks start

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USA TODAY

Jean-Francois Berube impressed in his first Blackhawks start

Jean-Francois Berube got his first start of the season on Friday night, and it couldn't have gone any better.

The 26-year-old goaltender stopped 42 of 43 shots, a career-high for him in saves, in the Blackhawks' 3-1 win over the San Jose Sharks at the United Center.

Since Corey Crawford went down with a head injury last December, the Blackhawks have been searching for consistency in the crease. 

The pair of Anton Forsberg and Jeff Glass — who was assigned to Rockford on Feb. 15 and replaced with Berube — have had their ups and downs since then. With the Blackhawks out of the playoff picture, Berube had an opportunity showcase his skills, and he didn't disappoint.

"We were very happy with him," said coach Joel Quenneville. "I thought he did a great job. He was comfortable. I thought he was very patient in his net. Absorbing a lot of pucks with people in front of him was good. Closed some gaps and got … of the top of the paint. Rebound control was effective. Nice response from a long absence."

Berube's last — and only — appearance with the Blackhawks prior to Friday's game came on Dec. 6, relieving Forsberg in a game against the Washington Capitals. He recorded 12 saves of 14 shots. 

When Crawford got injured, Berube was the primary candidate to become the team's backup goaltender. The only problem? He was injured too, so the Blackhawks promoted Glass.

"I didn't want to sit and think about it," Berube said of his injury. "At the same time, it was great for Glasser. He was one of those guys that probably deserved it earlier in his career and he finally got his chance. Sometimes you need a guy to go down to have your chance. So I was mostly happy for him.

On Friday night, he got his chance.

"You always want to have a good impression for your first game," Berube said. "I know what I can do at this level, so it was just a matter of getting the opportunity to play and showing people what I can do."

Celebrating his 22nd birthday, Nick Schmaltz also had a goal and an assist. Artem Anisimov scored an empty-netter.

"It's a lot more fun coming to the rink when you're winning, enjoying each other, playing well as a team," Schmaltz said of the Blackhawks' win, which have now won three of their last four games. "Hopefully we can keep that good energy and bring it to the rink every day, and build off of that.

"You never know where this team can go, a lot of great players, lots of guys that have had a lot of success. Hopefully we can continue to put together solid efforts."