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Hawks Are Using Their Heads

Monday, 09.08.2008 / 2:08 PM / Features
By NHL Press Release
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Hawks Are Using Their Heads
One of the reasons the Chicago Blackhawks showed marked improvement last season was smart play, especially in cutting down on power play against. This season\'s goal? More of the same.

Blackhawks rookies Patrick Kane, right, and Jonathan Toews scored a combined 126 points last season, the most of any pair of first-year players in the NHL.
Advantage Margin            -20

One reason for the Hawks' improvement was that they played smarter, cutting their deficit in power plays from minus-79 in 2006-07. They actually had 17 more power plays than they surrendered at home, but were minus-37 on the road.

Even-Strength Goals Margin        +3

Playing 4-on-4 was not the Hawks' strong point: They surrendered 10 goals when each team was playing a man down. They were plus-7 at full strength.
   
Special Teams Goal Margin        0

The Hawks' penalty-killers were just OK at stopping opposition power plays (82.1 percent, ranked 18th), but were superb at scoring -- they were second in the NHL with 17 shorthanded goals. Patrick Sharp alone had seven shorthanded tallies.

Goals by defensemen: 40                   

The Hawks nearly doubled their output from the blue line from 2006-07 (21), and that doesn't include the 19 goals scored by Dustin Byfuglien, who played some time on defense but wound up the season as a forward.

Chicago Blackhawks

Category
Rank (Conference/NHL)
2007-08 Points 88
(10th West/20th NHL)
Change from 2006-07 +17
Home Points 48
(9th West/15th NHL)
Away Points 40
(11th West/23rd NHL)
Overtime Record             Total: 9-4-4  | OT: 4-4  | SO: 5-4

The Hawks won both shootouts at the United Center and were the only team that didn't allow opposition shooters to score at home, turning aside all four tries.

Times Scored First        45, Record    29-13-3

The Hawks did a good job of getting the first goal, but tied San Jose for the most regulation losses in games when they got the first goal.       

Best 07-08 Number             126       

Combined points by rookies Patrick Kane (72) and Jonathan Toews (54 in 64 games) -- by far the most of any pair of first-year players in the NHL. Kane won the Calder Trophy as the NHL's top rookie and Toews was one of three finalists.

Worst 07-08 Number          4-9-1

2008-2009 SEASON PREVIEWS

Chicago's record in January, by far the Hawks' worst month of the season. The Blackhawks went 17-11-4 the rest of the way but were unable to overcome their poor showing in the new year's first month.
   
Scheduling

The Hawks begin January by hosting Detroit at Wrigley Field on New Year's Day in the Winter Classic. They end it with an eight-game road trip that begins after the All-Star break and lasts well into February. If the Hawks can stay in the playoff race down the stretch, they play 16 of their last 23 games at home.



Author: John Kreiser | NHL.com Columnist