Blackhawks

By the numbers: Breaking down the Blackhawks' regular season

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By the numbers: Breaking down the Blackhawks' regular season

The Blackhawks are headed to the playoffs once again, where they’ll meet first-round opponent St. Louis later this week.

But we’re still a few days away from that. Despite their ups and downs, the Blackhawks once again put together a pretty nice regular season. There were plenty of memorable moments and, of course, numbers to accompany them.

So before we look forward, let’s take a look back at the Blackhawks’ regular season, and some comparisons, with our by-the-numbers package:

106. Points accumulated by Patrick Kane, a career high for a season. It was the most points reached by a Blackhawks player since Jeremy Roenick (107) during the 1993-94 season.

17. Point differential between Kane, who won the NHL’s scoring title (Art Ross Trophy), and this year’s runner-up Jamie Benn (winner of last year's Art Ross Trophy), who finished with 89 points.

234. Goals scored by the Blackhawks this season.

96. Goals scored by Kane, Artemi Panarin and Artem Anisimov, who comprised the Blackhawks’ second line for most of this season.

77. Points for Panarin, the most of any rookie in the NHL this season.

56. Points for Buffalo’s Jack Eichel, who finished second to Panarin in that category.

12. Consecutive victories for the Blackhawks from Dec. 29 to Jan. 19, a franchise record.

7. Shutouts this season for Corey Crawford, a career high for him and the most in the NHL this season.

2. The Blackhawks’ power play ranking in the league this season; it scored 22.6 percent of the time.

19, 18, 15. The Blackhawks’ power play ranking in 2014-15, 2012-13 and 2009-10 (seasons in which the Blackhawks went on to win the Stanley Cup), respectively.

21. The Blackhawks’ penalty kill ranking this season (80.3 percent).

10, 3, 4. The penalty kill rank during the last three regular seasons (2014-15, 2012-13 and 2009-10, respectively) they went on to win Cups.

Blackhawks make minor league trade with Panthers, acquire defenseman Ian McCoshen

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USA Today

Blackhawks make minor league trade with Panthers, acquire defenseman Ian McCoshen

The Blackhawks have acquired defenseman Ian McCoshen from the Florida Panthers in exchange for forward prospect Aleksi Saarela, the team announced Tuesday. He will report to the Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League.

McCoshen is on a one-year contract that runs through the end of the 2019-20 season. His cap hit is $700,000 and he's set to become a restricted free agent.

Originally drafted by the Panthers in the second round (No. 31 overall) of the 2013 NHL Draft, McCoshen has appeared in 60 career NHL games and has seven points (four goals, three assists) and an ice time average of 14:26 per game. He has four assists in seven games with the Springfield Thunderbirds of the AHL this season.

The motive behind the move appears to be giving each player a fresh start elsewhere, although Saarela's time with the Blackhawks was short-lived. He was acquired by the Blackhawks in June, along with Calvin de Haan, for goaltender Anton Forsberg and defenseman Gustav Forsling and had one assist in five games with the Rockford IceHogs.

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Andrew Shaw trying to find balance between toeing the line and not crossing it for Blackhawks

Andrew Shaw trying to find balance between toeing the line and not crossing it for Blackhawks

The Blackhawks brought Andrew Shaw back to Chicago because they lacked some bite to their game. He's already meeting expectations in the physicality department, leading the team with 23 hits.

But the other part of his game the Blackhawks have to live with is the amount of penalties he takes. Through six games this season, Shaw has taken at least one penalty in five of them and is tied for third among all NHL skaters with six minors. The only two skaters above him are guys who have played in two and four more games, respectively.

Because he plays on the edge, Shaw will occasionally cross it and he's trying to find that balance between toeing the line and not stepping over it.

"I find if I'm not playing on the edge, I'm not playing great," Shaw said. "I need to play physical. Even in preseason, I was just finishing checks — clean, shoulder-to-shoulder — and was getting penalty after penalty. Hockey still is a physical game. There's still hitting; it's still legal. So I'm going to go out there and play hard, make it hard on my opponents, make it hard on them physically, do what I do. Not going to change who I am now. I'm an old dog."

Shaw's reputation may also contribute to the matter. He's racked up more than 600 penalty minutes in his NHL career, including postseason, and the officials might be keeping a closer eye on him when he's on the ice.

"It's something he's got to be aware of, but I also think he's got a bullseye on him," coach Jeremy Colliton said. "If I go back through all the penalties he's taken, he probably earned a couple and he probably earned them five years ago. That's something he's got to deal with. We want him to play hard. I think we can handle the ones where he's running people over. We'll kill those off. Obviously the stick penalties and stuff we don't want. But he's playing hard for the team. That's a good thing."

Said Shaw: "The referees, no matter the history of the player, should call the game as it is. If there's a penalty, call a penalty. If there's not a penalty, you let it go. I mean, yeah, I might have been too vocal in my younger days. But the past three years I've been trying to clean it up a little bit. I just take my penalties when I get 'em. But I must have dug myself a really deep hole. Just trying to climb out of it since."

Still, Shaw knows he has to be smarter about the timing of his penalties and where they're happening. The ones that occur in the offensive zone are the penalties that must be eradicated from his game. The ones he earns from battling between the whistles and sticking up for his teammates, the Blackhawks can live with those.

"Obviously I don't want to take penalties, I don't want to put my team down," Shaw said. "I also don't agree with all of the ones I got. I think I got the short end of the stick on a lot of them. Bite my tongue, go to the box. Our PK's been working hard and competing and killing some penalties. Hopefully they start going my way, I guess."

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