Blackhawks

NHL Power Rankings: Red Wings surging toward top

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NHL Power Rankings: Red Wings surging toward top

The Red Wings are 7-0-3 in their last 10 games while the Bruins have picked up a point in each of their last eight games, both making a surge in the East.

Meanwhile in the West, the Kings have rolled off four straight wins and will look to continue their success on the road, where they will play 10 of their next 11 games, including six straight.

Check in with CSNChicago.com for updated rankings every Monday throughout the 2015-16 campaign. Here's where we're at so far: Preseason rankings | Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8

 

Rank Team
Last Week Record/Comment
1 1

18-5-2, 38 points: The Capitals have picked up at least a point in nine of their last 10 games; Braden Holtby is now 16-4-1 with a 1.95 goals against average and .928 save percentage.

2   2

20-5-2, 42 points: After going 2-0-2 during their four-game road trip, the Stars will play five of their next six games at home.

3   3

19-6-3, 41 points: The Canadiens are controlling 52.5 percent of even-strength shot attempts this season, which ranks sixth-best. Last year, they ranked 23rd at 48.5 percent.

4   6

17-8-1, 35 points: After winning four consecutive home games (all four against playoff teams last year), the Kings are gearing up to play 10 of their next 11 games on the road, including six straight.

5 4

18-7-3, 39 points: Mats Zuccarello has one point in his last eight games after compiling 15 points in his previous 10 contests.

6 9

15-8-5, 35 points: The Islanders have killed off 16 straight penalties, and have registered a point in each of their last six games, which include wins over the Rangers and Blues.

7 16 

15-8-4, 34 points: The Red Wings are 7-0-3 in their last 10 games, and have improved their puck possession significantly over the last several weeks.

8 12

14-8-3, 31 points: The Bruins have earned at least a point in each of their last eight games, and have killed off 27 of their last 28 penalties (96.4 percent).

9 5

14-9-4, 32 points: Patrick Kane extended his point streak to 22 games on Sunday, surpassing Bobby Hull for the longest streak in Blackhawks history.

10 7

15-8-4, 34 points: The Blues are 4-5-3 in their last 12 games, and have seen their overall goal differential slip to plus-1.

11 11

14-8-5, 33 points: Mike Hoffman has nine goals and three assists in his last eight games, and is already halfway past last year's point total (48).

12 13

14-7-4, 32 points: The Wild kicked off December with three straight wins, which included a 2-1 win over Chicago and back-to-back shutouts against Toronto and Colorado.

13 10

14-10-2, 30 points: Sidney Crosby has registered a point in seven of his last eight games, but the Penguins are still 1-2-2 in their last five.

14 14 

13-12-3, 29 points: Tyler Johnson returned Sunday and Cedric Paquette is eyeing a return later this week, which should provide a huge boost for the Lightning on both ends of the ice.

15 15 

13-8-5, 31 points: The Predators have just two wins in their last nine games, and squandered a pair of two-goal leads in an overtime loss to Detroit on Saturday.

16  

14-12-0, 28 points: The Sharks are 1-4-0 since their six-game winning streak, but still sit in second place in the Pacific Division.

17   18

13-10-4, 30 points: The Panthers will look to set a franchise record when they go for their sixth consecutive road win on Saturday against Boston.

18 19 

14-10-3, 31 points: Adam Henrique stepped up in Travis Zajac's absence with his second three-point game of the season in a win over Florida on Sunday. 

19 21 

11-12-5, 27 points: John Gibson is quickly becoming the No. 1 goaltender in Anaheim, where he's gone 4-2-1 with a 1.47 goals against average and .944 save percentage.

20   23

13-13-2, 28 points: In his first three career starts, 22-year-old rookie goaltender Connor Hellebuyck is 3-0-0 with a 0.97 goals against average and .965 save percentage.

21   22

11-13-3, 25 points: Evander Kane scored two goals in back-to-back games on Tuesday and Friday after potting just two total goals in his first 14 games.

22 17 13-13-1, 27 points: A tough week for the Coyotes, who lost four consecutive road games and were outscored 20-9.
23 20

9-11-8, 26 points: The Canucks are 3-9-4 since starting the season 6-2-4, and have yet to win a game in overtime or a shootout (0-8).

24   26

11-11-5, 27 points: The Flyers have won four of their last five games, including divisional wins over the Rangers and Devils.

25   25

10-13-4, 24 points: The Hurricanes are the third-best puck possession team yet won back-to-back games despite being outshot in both of them. Who would've thought?

26 28

11-15-2, 24 points: Three consecutive wins over Boston, Dallas and Buffalo has improved the Oilers' home record to 7-5-1. They're 4-10-1 on the road.

27 29 

11-15-1, 23 points: The Avalanche registered a pair of 2-1 road wins over the Rangers and Devils, but ended the week with a 3-0 loss to Minnesota, where they were outshot by 24.

28 30

10-14-2, 22 points: The Flames kicked off their five-game home stand with a shootout win over Dallas and an overtime victory over Boston.

29   24

9-13-5, 23 points: Illinois native Garret Sparks made history by recording a shutout in his first career start for the Maple Leafs on Monday.

30 27

11-16-1, 23 points: Brandon Saad was demoted to the fourth line and Scott Hartnell was a healthy scratch as things don't appear to be getting any better in Columbus. 

*Advanced stats courtesy of war-on-ice.com

Hawks Talk Podcast: Crawford's return, Saad's demotion and power play concerns

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USA TODAY

Hawks Talk Podcast: Crawford's return, Saad's demotion and power play concerns

In the latest Hawks Talk Podcast, Pat Boyle, Charlie Roumeliotis and Slavko Bekovic provide their thoughts on the Blackhawks’ 3-0-2 start.

They also discuss Brandon Saad’s demotion and whether it could serve as a wake-up call, Corey Crawford’s potential return on Thursday vs. Arizona and what could happen with Anton Forsberg because of it, and address the power play concerns.

The guys wrap up the podcast by making a few bold predictions going forward.

Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below, and be sure to subscribe, rate us and write a review!

10 years with 'Coach Q' anything but ordinary

10 years with 'Coach Q' anything but ordinary

Over the last 10 years, the words “ordinary” and "OK" have taken on a new meaning to Blackhawks players and fans alike. 

That’s “Coach Q” speak. 

A language where “ordinary” means awful and “just OK” means you were a non-factor. The good news is the last 10 seasons under Joel Quenneville have been anything but ordinary at the United Center. 

On Oct. 16th, 2008, the Blackhawks let go of fan-favorite Denis Savard after a 1-2-1 start to the season and named Quenneville as head coach in his place. Quenneville coached the Colorado Avalanche the previous season, but after another disappointing exit in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the two mutually parted ways. He had originally planned to stay away from the bench for at least a season, but the Blackhawks triumvirate of Rocky Wirtz, John McDonough and then-GM Dale Tallon brought Quenneville on as a scout and then handed him the keys to the car shortly after.

“Dale’s obligation is to put together a winning team,” said McDonough at Quenneville’s introductory press conference. “At this point, Joel is the coach of that team.”

It was an emotional day at the Blackhawks offices. Savard – a Blackhawks legend on the ice and a coach the players held in high regard – was let go just as things started to turn upwards for the organization. The end of the 2007-2008 season saw the Blackhawks once again miss out on the playoffs, but the fans began to flock to the United Center once more, and the hype train around the young team built around Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane was gaining steam.

“Moving forward, if we want to be a championship-caliber organization, we have to make tough decisions,” said Tallon. “This was the toughest decision I’ve ever had to make.” 

Savard was 65-66-16 in parts of three seasons as head coach of the Blackhawks. Meanwhile, Quenneville had compiled eight 95+ point seasons behind the bench for the Blues and Avalanche in his 11 years as a head coach.

“We felt the experience and the track record of Joel would be a balance that we needed with a young, inexperienced team,” said Tallon. "Joel brings us a wealth of experience and a winning track record that will have an immediate and lasting impact."

The gamble paid off for the Blackhawks in a major way. Once Quenneville took over, the team got to the sought-after next level. 

They finished the 08-09 season with 104 points, third-most in the NHL’s Western Conference, had a franchise-record setting 9-game win streak in the month of December and returned to the playoffs for the first time since the 2001-2002 season. The “young and inexperienced” Blackhawks took the league by storm, dropping the Calgary Flames in the first round of the playoffs in six games before taking down the rival Canucks in the next round.

They ultimately lost out to the Detroit Red Wings in the Western Conference Finals, but the bar was now set for the organization. From then on, the Blackhawks were Stanley Cup contenders. 

Quenneville currently ranks 2nd in franchise history with 449 wins, trailing only Billy Reay’s 516. 

But most importantly, Quenneville’s 76 playoff wins rank at the top in the organization’s long and storied history, and those three Stanley Cups that he’s raised over his head were anything but “ordinary.”