The Chicago Blackhawks are Vulnerable this year

I don’t usually do this, but I have seen some good analysis this week about the Chicago Blackhawks, and instead of parroting their work, I thought I’d share the tweets themselves. This information comes from the fantastic accounts of @ChartingHockey and @Classlicity:

What we see above is that Chicago is not dominating the possession game like they did in previous years (50.0% this year is the definition of middle-of-the-road), and their Scoring Chance proportion is among the lowest in the league. There is a huge discrepancy between their Goals-For % and expected GF%, driven by the outstanding goaltending of Corey Crawford (.946 5v5 save percentage and .925 overall). Now, the Dubnyk has been exceptional as well, but the team’s underlying numbers are not as concerning as the Hawks.

This all leads to a PDO of 101.8, which has been steadily ‘deflating’ since the beginning of the season. Obviously, they are still on top of the Central division, but Minnesota has a whopping five games in hand, so there’s a real chance the Wild could catch the Hawks and earn their first division championship since 2007-08. But that’s a bit preliminary, and I wanted to focus on Chicago today.

Here’s another look at the Hawks’ expected goal rates, from the wonderful @Classlicity, who will be on our podcast this week:

 

As we move to the second half of the NHL season, we will undoubtedly shift our attention to the postseason, and with the Wild’s playoff ticket all but assured, it’s getting to be about time to measure them against the rest of the conference. With Chicago being the bane of Minnesota’s existence recently, this might be the year that the Wild can take the next step and become a force to be reckoned with. Obviously, more on this in the coming weeks, but I wanted to share some interesting analysis that I saw recently. Be sure to follow @ChartingHockey and @Classlicity for more great analysis, and check her out on the HTH pod this week!