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.

Blackhawks assign Anton Forsberg to Rockford after clearing waivers

Blackhawks assign Anton Forsberg to Rockford after clearing waivers

Anton Forsberg cleared waivers on Tuesday morning and was assigned to the Rockford IceHogs in the American Hockey League.

That's good news for the Blackhawks organizational depth chart, with Forsberg as the No. 3 in goal. But it also complicates things in Rockford, where Collin Delia and Kevin Lankinen have been sharing the duties.

Delia is 3-1-0 with a 3.26 goals against average and .910 save percentage while Lankinen is 0-1-1 with a 3.39 GAA and .825 save percentage. Perhaps the most likely scenario is Lankinen gets sent to the ECHL with the Indy Fuel while Delia and Forsberg split the load in Rockford.

It's certainly a good problem to have, but it's still unclear how that dynamic will play out.

"We haven’t talked about that," coach Joel Quenneville said. "But we expect [Forsberg] to play."

Luke Johnson recalled

With a spot opening up on the 23-man roster, Johnson is being brought back up after he was squeezed out by Corey Crawford's return. He had a goal and an assist in two games with Rockford.

Brandon Saad returns to top-six role

After turning in arguably his best performance of the season on Sunday, Saad is back playing on the second line with Artem Anisimov and Patrick Kane. He had seven shot attempts (three on goal) against Tampa Bay and led the team in 5-on-5 possession numbers.

"[Saad] is coming off a game where we liked what we saw," Quenneville said. "Playing with Kaner can help him get going."

Nick Schmaltz to play right side for first time in NHL career

Eight games into the season and Schmaltz has spent time at both center and left wing. Now he'll get a look on the right side with Alexandre Fortin on the left and David Kampf centering the third line.

Part of the reason for Schmaltz’s move to the right side was because Quenneville said they like Fortin on the left. It's not unfamiliar territory for Schmaltz, but could take some time getting used to.

"I played a little while back, not sure when," Schmaltz said "Just a little bit different. Catching pucks on your forehand now instead of your backhand. It's not a huge adjustment, just play with speed and compete hard and hopefully the skill on our line will take over."

Evaluating Blackhawks options after Anton Forsberg is placed on waivers

9-20_anton_forsberg_ap.jpg
AP

Evaluating Blackhawks options after Anton Forsberg is placed on waivers

The Blackhawks have said all along that they don't plan on carrying three goaltenders, but wanted to do so during the three games in four days stretch just in case, with Corey Crawford coming back from a 10-month layoff because of a concussion.

After being encouraged by how Crawford has responded to his return, the Blackhawks placed goaltender Anton Forsberg on waivers Monday morning. Teams have 24 hours to put in a claim for the 25-year-old goaltender and would have to keep him on their NHL roster for 10 games and/or 30 days before he's eligible to go through the waiver process again.

His chances of getting claimed by any of the other 30 teams essentially depends on which teams believe Forsberg would be an immediate upgrade over their current backup — or starter, for that matter — or whether there's an injury to one of the team's two goaltenders that requires a placeholder, like we saw the Carolina Hurricanes do by claiming Curtis McElhinney from the Toronto Maple Leafs after Scott Darling's injury in the preseason.

If Forsberg goes unclaimed, the Blackhawks can assign him to the American Hockey League with the Rockford IceHogs. With Collin Delia and Kevin Lankinen sharing the goaltending duties in Rockford, it's possible Lankinen gets sent to the Indy Fuel in the ECHL to get consistent starts under his belt.

A third option, one that isn't very common but we've seen in the past as recently as last October with Maple Leafs goaltender Kasimir Kaskisuo, is that Forsberg can be loaned to any AHL team while still being a part of the Blackhawks organization. This would allow the Blackhawks to keep Delia and Lankinen in Rockford while Forsberg gets his starts in the AHL, too.

Or, the Blackhawks could simply trade Forsberg to another NHL team that could stash him in the AHL, as long as he clears waivers. They did it last season with Chris DiDomenico, who cleared waivers as a member of the Ottawa Senators but was then traded to Chicago for Ville Pokka days later. Had DiDomenico been claimed by the Blackhawks, he would have had to stay on the NHL roster as noted above.

Forsberg was 10-16-4 with a 2.97 goals against average and .908 save percentage in 35 appearances last season but has not appeared in a game yet this year. He was acquired as part of the Brandon Saad package for Artemi Panarin in June 2017.