Blackhawks

Hawk Talk: A Look at the Numbers from Rinkside

Hawk Talk: A Look at the Numbers from Rinkside

Sunday, Apr. 4, 2010

By Brett Ballantini
CSNChicago.com

.233: Antti Niemi has seven whitewashes in just 30 starts in 2009-10, a .233 percentage. Every NHL goaltender with five or more shutouts has started at least 50 games.

.269: The Blackhawks .269 winning percentage when trailing after two periods is third-best in the NHL, trailing just the Washington Capitals and Vancouver Canucks.

.538: Jonathan Toews is second in NHL history with a .538 shooting percentage in shootouts.

.812: Niemis .812 save percentage on shootouts (26 of 32) is the best in the NHL among goaltenders who have faced 20-plus shots.

.886: Chicagos penalty kill at home is the second-best in the league.

.926: Niemi has a .926 save percentage over his last nine starts.

2: Fridays loss to Chicago marked just second time this season the New Jersey Devils had lost when leading at second intermission (30-1-1).

7: The Blackhawks have won seven consecutive regular season games vs. Calgary (Chicago swept the Flames in 2008-09).

8: Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville (then with the St. Louis Blues in 1999-2000) coached the last team to win the Central Division before the eight-year run of titles by the Detroit Red Wings started.

11: Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville has guided his teams into the postseason in 11 of his 12 full seasons as a head coach.

14: Fridays win over the Devils wasnt just the first win for Chicago in New Jersey since Dec. 30, 1997, it was the teams first multiple-win season vs. the Devils in 14 years (since 1995-96).

15: The Blackhawks have won five of their last seven shootouts and nine of 15 overall in 2009-10. Combined with their 6-1 record in OT, Chicagos 15-7 record in extra time is second in the NHL only to the Phoenix Coyotes, who are 17-6.

16: Its been 16 years since Chicago has swept back-to-back season series from a Western Conference opponent. The victim was the Flames, in the 1992-93 and 1993-94 seasons.

19: Chicago finished the regular season vs. the East at 11-5-2, their best since going 21-9-3 vs. Wales (the old Eastern Conference) 19 years ago, in 1990-91.

30: Niemi has authored seven of Chicagos 11 games of 30-plus saves this season.

53: Niemi has stopped 53 of the past 54 shots hes seen in his past two games.

95: Calgary starting goalie Miikka Kiprusoff has stopped 95 of 100 shots hes seen over his past three starts.

203: Chicago has now lost 203 man-games to injury so far this season; last years season total was 179.

Sports Talk Live Podcast: Is Crawford ready to go?

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USA TODAY

Sports Talk Live Podcast: Is Crawford ready to go?

Jimmy Greenfield, Connor McKnight, and Matt Spiegel join Kap on the panel to discuss Corey Crawford back on the ice for the first time in 10 months. The Bears have good news when it comes to Khalil Mack, who injured his ankle against the Dolphins.

Plus, Fred Hoiberg announces that Jabari Parker is coming off the bench for the season opener.

Listen to the full episode here or via the embedded player below:

Niklas Hjalmarsson 'wasn't happy' about trade, but remembers time with Blackhawks fondly

Niklas Hjalmarsson 'wasn't happy' about trade, but remembers time with Blackhawks fondly

Apparently time doesn’t heal all wounds. 

Nearly a year and a half since being traded to the Coyotes, Niklas Hjalmarsson will return to the United Center ice on Thursday playing for the visiting team.  

“It’s going to be strange coming in as the away team and being in the other locker room,” said Hjalmarsson on Wednesday. “I bet it’s going to be a lot of emotions and mixed feelings.” 

This is also the first time Hjalmarsson has been back to the city of Chicago since he was traded, a city he called his “second home.” A home where he spent parts of 10 seasons, and never really planned on leaving.

“I wasn’t happy, to be honest with you,” said Hjalmarsson of the trade to Arizona. “I was shocked. It took me a couple days to actually realize I wasn’t going to play for the Hawks anymore.”

Including the playoffs, Hjalmarsson played 751 games in the Indian head sweater. Despite that and the team’s three Stanley Cup victories, the Blackhawks shipped him off to Arizona for Connor Murphy and Laurent Dauphin in June of 2017.

“You kind of let it go after a while,” he said. “Now I’m just hoping all the success for the guys over here too.”

Hjalmarsson was known for his toughness, repeatedly blocking shot after shot, giving up his body, while never missing a shift. He credits his long-time teammates — Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook — for a lot of his success and identity on the blue line.

“I couldn’t have had better role models coming into a team,” he said. “I’m very thankful to have played on the same team as those guys and created a lot of success together. We’re always going to be connected with the Cups that we’ve had.”

The third championship won by that defense-trio was on United Center ice against the Lightning in 2015, but that isn’t the memory that stands out most for Hjalmarsson.

“The first Cup is always going to be pretty special,” said the 31-year old. “Even just going to the conference final (in 2009), even when we lost against Detroit that year, the year before was great memories too. The first time for me going into the playoffs and playing deep.”

The tables have turned now for both Hjalmarsson and the Blackhawks. 

The Coyotes have yet to score an even-strength goal this season, while the Blackhawks have claimed eight of a possible 10 points thus far through five games and expect to have their starting goaltender back between the pipes. 

But you won’t hear any ill-will from Hjalmarsson, he’s still rooting for the Hawks.

“I always think that Chicago deserves to have a team in the playoffs,” he said. “It’s not that I wish them not to do well. It’s the total opposite. I want them to have continued success.”