When it comes to the National Hockey League’s Chicago Blackhawks right now we need to start talking numbers. The reason why? Because after the Blackhawks last games, a win over the Toronto Maple Leafs 2-1 in overtime on Saturday evening and a Sunday night 6-3 victory over the Colorado Avalanche there’s a whole lot of them to throw around.
Let’s start with what’s most impressive. How about a seven point lead over the Minnesota Wild? Not only is seven my most favorite number but it represents the point lead the Hawks now have over their year long nemesis, the Minnesota Wild. Now let’s tackle the number 10. In the last ten games Chicago is 8-2 while the Wild are 2-8. Which brings us to 16. The number of points the Hawks have registered during that span. While Minnesota has just 4. A 12 point swing. I’m not sure anyone could have seen this coming. Not so much the Hawks number of victories but the sheer collapse of Bruce Boudreau’s team from the state of hockey.
Here comes some more.
99. The number of points Chicago has recorded this season. That point total is one less than the Washington Capitals and Columbus Blue Jackets in the race for the Presidents Trophy. That one point difference reflects the pay off of a 17-3 record over the last 20 games.
10 Again. The number of minutes WGN’s color man Troy Murray suggested Chicago played with any intensity in Sunday’s win. Clearly, Murray suggested, the Hawks were outplayed for the first 50 minutes of the game only to score 5 times in the third period. And another 10. The number of games the Hawks have left in the regular season.
9. The number of times in a row Chicago has qualified for the post season. Only two other teams enjoy a longer steak in the NHL, the Detroit Red Wings (25), which will most likely will be snapped this year and the Pittsburgh Penguins (10).
20. The Hawks have five players with 20 plus goals on the year and one more on the doorstep. Patrick Kane (32), Artemi Panarin (24), Marian Hossa (22), Artem Anisimov (22) and Jonathan Toews (20) are in that group. Rihcard Panik (19) is poised to join them.
34. The number of seconds it took Chicago to score three goals in the third period Sunday night. Toews, Panik and Panarin were the characters who got it done and crushed any hopes of a Colorado upset.
47. The current season win total which equals the number of victories the Hawks had all of last season.
1. One game. One goal. And a song title by the Three Dog Night, “One is the Loneliest Number.” Which would be nice to see again as that would mean a fourth Stanley Cup title in the last 8 seasons.
Rookie John Hayden recorded two assists Sunday night giving him 3 points in his first three NHL games. In addition, he had five hits in the contest. Marian Hossa sat out his second straight game with an lower body injury. Johnny Oduya was also a scratch.
Up next. Vancouver comes to town on Tuesday evening. A game very much like Sunday’s where a team out of the playoff race can’t be taken for granted.
Thanks for checking in,