Blackhawks by the Numbers: Halloween Edition

The final day of October is upon us, and the Chicago Blackhawks have survived the first nine games of their 2022-23 campaign. Today also marks the celebration of Halloween, which is a time for spooks and surprises. Speaking of surprises, the Blackhawks are off to a surprisingly good start, with a record of 4-3-2 and 10 points. Believe it or not, this is currently good for third place in the Central Division!

Related – Blackhawks Bytes: Kurashev, Dickinson, Khaira & the Johnson’s

On this Halloween holiday, let’s look at some of the numbers that stand out for the Blackhawks through this first month of the season.

Blackhawks’ Points Leaders

We’ll start with the first thing any casual fan looks at, and the endgame when it comes to winning in hockey. That’s right, everyone loves the guys who can score goals. And if you look beyond that, the players who set up the goals tend to be pretty important as well. Who’s leading the way for the Blackhawks?

Leader With 5 Goals, Jonathan Toews

Let’s face it; we were all hopeful Toews was healthy and ready to go this season. But did anyone predict he would be leading in goals?! Well, here we are; Toews leads the team with five goals.

Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks
Jonathan Toews currently leads the Chicago Blackhawks with five goals. (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

It took the captain 47 games to pot five goals last season. Reaching this mark in nine contests must feel awfully good.

Leader With 7 Assists, Patrick Kane

Unlike Toews, this one is really no surprise. Kane currently leads the team with seven assists. He’s always been a playmaker, and has led the Blackhawks in this category year after year. He usually leads, or is at least in second place, in goals as well.

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Which is why it’s a little shocking Kane only has two goals to date, despite leading the team with 26 shots on goal. I’m guessing when we revisit this at Thanksgiving it will be a different story.

Leader With 9 Points, Kane

Even with just those two goals, Kane leads the Blackhawks with nine points. Although, it should be noted that three others players are right behind him with seven points. These are Toews (5G, 2A), Max Domi (4G, 3A) and Sam Lafferty (3G, 4A).

Patrick Kane Chicago Blackhawks
Even with just two goals through the first nine games, Patrick Kane still leads the team with nine points. (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

While it’s nice to see Kane and Toews leading the way, it’s also refreshing to see some other complimentary players on top of the leaderboard.

Miscellaneous Statistics for the Blackhawks

There’s more to winning than just scoring goals. It takes a team effort, and everyone has a role to play. So who’s on top in some of the more miscellaneous statistics?

  • Defenseman Jarred Tinordi is credited with 34 hits, which is 14 more than second place Jujhar Khaira. Tinordi, by the way, also earned his first two points as a Blackhawk (both secondary assists) Sunday night against the Minnesota Wild.
  • Connor Murphy is the winner in with 25 blocked shots. Although I’m not sure if you can exactly call that winning for this warrior defenseman. Nevertheless, Murphy is willing to put himself in harm’s way night after night for the sake of the team. Fellow blueliner Seth Jones comes in second place with 21 blocked shots.
Connor Murphy, Chicago Blackhawks
Connor Murphy currently leads the Chicago Blackhawks with 25 blocked shots.(Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)
  • Here’s a fun stat. Linemates Domi and Andreas Athansiou both have the honor of 10 takeaways for the Blackhawks. Hopefully they can keep this up. That and Domi’s faceoff stats (more on this in a bit), are only going to help give their line (with Kane included) more possession time.
  • Now the not-so-fun stat. Domi, Kane and S. Jones are all credited with nine giveaways. Granted, they play the most minutes. But they will need to try to limit their giveaways moving forward.
  • S. Jones is your runaway leader in time on the ice, averaging 25:12 minutes a night. Which is why losing him for the next 3-4 weeks with a right thumb injury is going to be a challenge for the Blackhawks.

Faceoff Finesse

Remember when Toews was the only center on the team that could win faceoffs? This is NOT the case so far this season. As a matter of fact, the Blackhawks as a whole are winning their draws at a 59.8% clip, which is currently the best in the league! This is a huge improvement from last season’s 49.6% faceoff success rate. If they can keep this up, it should only help them moving forward. Here’s a look at the top center’s stats in this department.

  • Domi, 67.2% (137 draws)
  • Toews, 64.9% (151 draws)
  • Lafferty, 50% (76 draws)
  • Jason Dickinson, 53.6% (56 draws)
  • MacKenzie Entwistle, 57.5%, 40 draws)

That’s right! Everyone is at 50% or higher. This is certainly a pleasant and welcome surprise.

Blackhawks Special Teams Stats

Special teams are so important, and the Blackhawks are actually doing a decent job on both the power play and the penalty kill in this early part of the season.

Power Play

The Blackhawks power play is currently 8-of-29 with a 27.6% success rate, which is sixth in the league. Individually, Domi leads with three power play goals. Toews is credited with two PP tallies. Taylor Raddysh, Tyler Johnson and Dickinson each have one PP goal apiece. Kane leads the way with six assists on the power play.

Max Domi Chicago Blackhawks
Max Domi, Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Melissa Tamez/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Alas, a defenseman didn’t score a goal on the man advantage all of last season. But S. Jones  currently has two assists in this department, and brother Caleb Jones has one. Eventually a defenseman will break through with a power play tally.

Penalty Kill

The Blackhawks have allowed 10 goals on 39 tries when down a man. This is actually 26th in the league, so improvement is needed. But the success story is that they already have four shorthanded goals through nine games, which leads the league. Lafferty has two of these tallies, while Khaira and Murphy each have one. They only scored two shorthanded goals in their entire 2021-22 campaign.

Sam Lafferty Chicago Blackhawks
Sam Lafferty has scored two shorthanded goals so far for the Chicago Blackhawks. (Photo by Melissa Tamez/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Head coach Luke Richardson has stressed a more aggressive approach on the penalty kill, and so far it’s paid off. There’s nothing quite like being down a man and still coming out on top. It certainly keeps the opponent’s power play unit on their toes. There’s still 73 games left, and with this type of aggressive mentality I would expect PK unit to add to this stat.

Related – Blackhawks Surprising Early Success Will be Hard to Maintain

It’s been a very eventful start to the season, with the Blackhawks being much more competitive than expected. We’re just nine games in, but this team has been fun to watch. The above leaderboard stats come with some predictability, but also with a lot of surprises. It will be interesting to see if the team can keep up their strong start. We’ll have to revisit the numbers at the next holiday, which is Thanksgiving, to get a better pulse on whether this team is for real or not.

In the meantime, Happy Halloween!

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