Blackhawks By the Numbers: Thanksgiving Edition

Welcome to another edition of Blackhawks By the Numbers, as we continue to march through the Chicago Blackhawks’ 2022-23 campaign. First off, I’d like to wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving! I hope you’re all enjoying a day of feasting and festivities. While you’re digesting your turkey and stuffing, take a few minutes to read where the Blackhawks stand on this holiday, and how this compares to the where they were approximately four weeks earlier, on Halloween.

Related – Blackhawks By the Numbers: Halloween Edition

Overall, the Blackhawks are currently 6-10-3 with 15 points through 19 games. This is currently last place in the Central Division. In hindsight, they’ve taken a step back from their surprising 4-3-2 start in the first nine games (10 points). Having lost eight of their last 10 games, the Blackhawks appear to have regressed to the mean somewhat in the month of November.  

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Yes they’re competing, which is refreshing. But there’s a constant struggle to overcome the talent gap on a team that was essentially built to tank. Nevertheless, let’s look at some of the standout statistics.

Blackhawks’ Points Leaders

We begin with who’s currently leading in goals, assists and overall points for the Blackhawks. These are the players that are steering the ship offensively, despite the fact offensive production has been a sore spot for this squad so far.

Latest News & Highlights

Leader With 8 Goals, Jonathan Toews

Toews led the team with five goals on Halloween and through the first nine games, and he still leads at Thanksgiving with eight goals. He’s regressed a bit with only three goals in the last 10 games, but the entire team has had trouble offensively of late. The captain still holds the honor in number of goals scored. He also scored his 500th career assist against the Dallas Stars on Wednesday night.

Jonathan Toews Chicago Blackhawks
Jonathan Toews currently leads the Chicago Blackhawks with eight goals. (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Andreas Athanasiou ranks second with six goals, and Max Domi is third with five goals.

Leader With 12 Assists, Patrick Kane

Kane also led at Halloween with seven assists, and now he’s added five more. Of Kane’s 12 helpers to date, only three of them have been primary assists. I was honestly a little surprised by that stat. It’s safe to say most thought Kane would have a better start to the season than this.

So, who’s leading in primary assists? Domi has six, and Philipp Kurashev has five. Domi (who ranks second on the team with nine total assists) isn’t much of a surprise. But I highly doubt anyone would have guessed Kurashev would be third with five primary assists.

Philipp Kurashev, Chicago Blackhawks
Philipp Kurashev is emerging as a playmaker for the Chicago Blackhawks. (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Kurashev has made an impact for the Chicago Blackhawks early in the season. The 23-year-old Swiss forward has become quite the player maker through the first 19 games (three goals and six assists for nine points). Let’s see if he can keep it up!  

Leader With 15 Points, Kane

Blackhawks fans, and Kane himself for that matter, might be disappointed with his production. But Kane still leads in the points department, just like he did at Halloween. He recently scored just his third goal of the season against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Nov. 20. It’s hard to doubt more goals, assists and points are on the way.  

Patrick Kane Chicago Blackhawks
Despite a rough start to the season, Patrick Kane is still leading the Chicago Blackhawks with 14 points. (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Domi is in second place with 14 points, and Toews ranks third with 13 points.

Top Defensive Statistics

While offensive production is what most casual fans look at first and foremost, the defensive side of the hockey is another game in itself. Here are some of the leading statistics on defense.

  • Defenseman Jarred Tinordi has a whopping 77 hits! He was credited with 34 hits through the first nine games, so he’s more than doubled his production in this area. Second place on the team is Connor Murphy with 39 hits, 38 less than Tinordi.
  • Not to be outdone, Murphy leads the way with 44 blocked shots. Jake McCabe isn’t too far behind with 41 blocked shots. There’s a pretty big drop off from there; Jack Johnson ranks third place with 32 blocked shots.
  • Seth Jones still leads the way with an average of 24:46 minutes of ice time per game. The Blackhawks’ top defenseman missed 10 games due to a right thumb injury, and he was sorely missed. Jones rejoined the team earlier than expected for the most recent tilt in Dallas, his home town. He got straight back to work, contributing his first goal of the season.
Seth Jones, Chicago Blackhawks
Chicago Blackhawks’ Seth Jones is back in the lineup after suffering a thumb injury. (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)
  • So, who’s stepped up in Jones’ absence? We all thought it would be Murphy, and he has certainly done his part. But surprisingly, the veteran journeyman Jack Johnson is third on the team in ice time, averaging 20:08 minutes. He’s also second to Murphy in overall ice time (382:41 minutes), and leads in shorthanded ice time (49:53 minutes). Johnson also isn’t afraid to shoot the puck; he leads all defensemen with 27 shots on goal. It’s been refreshing to watch the 35-year-old contribute. I can see why he’s so respected around the league.

Miscellaneous Stats for the Blackhawks

Before we move on to faceoffs, special teams and goaltending, let’s take a look at some of the more miscellaneous statistics for the Blackhawks to date.

  • At the Halloween marker, Athanasiou and Domi jointly led the team with 10 takeaways. Ironically, they are still tied for the lead, with 16 takeaways apiece.
  • Kane is leading by far in the shots on goal department. He has 57 shots on goal to Toews’ 37. Domi and Athanasiou are tied for third, each with 35 shots on goal.

Related – Blackhawks’ Troubling Trends from 4-Game Losing Streak

  • Toews currently has a very healthy 21.7 shooting percentage. Dickinson comes in second at 18.2% and Athanasiou third at 17.1%. Ironically, Kane has a dismal 5.3 shooting percentage.
  • We might as well take a peek at one of the more negative stats. Does anyone want to take a stab at who has the most penalty minutes? You guessed it; Domi leads by a mile with 29 penalty minutes (Athanasiou is second with 18 minutes). Domi has a reputation of being a bit of a loose cannon, as well as being hard to play against. It’s proven true in Chicago as well as his past teams.
Max Domi Chicago Blackhawks
Max Domi currently leads the Chicago Blackhawks in penalty minutes. (Photo by Melissa Tamez/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
  • In the last post, Domi, Kane and S. Jones were all tied with nine giveaways. Now Toews has joined the group; he has 16 giveaways. Domi has 15, and Kane 14 giveaways. But let’s remember these guys are also out on the ice the most. In some ways the bad is going to come with the good.   

Faceoff Fortunes

In my Halloween post, I commented on how well the Blackhawks were doing at winning faceoffs. At the time, they were leading the NHL with a 59.8% success rate. Believe it or not, they have sustained this success and are still leading the league at 56.9%. Here’s where the top centers stand individually. I put their Halloween faceoff stats in parentheses.

  • Toews, 64.4% (64.9% before)
  • Domi, 58.7 (67.2% before)
  • Lafferty, 49% (50% before)
  • Dickinson, 50% (53.6% before)
  • MacKenzie Entwistle, 58.7% (57.5% before)

First off, Toews is now leading over Domi in the number of draws taken. Which makes sense even if Domi is technically on the “first line”. Over the long haul, Toews is going to win more faceoffs than Domi. Although, Domi and the rest of the crew are still doing an excellent job. We’ll have to revisit this at Christmastime to see if they continue to have these high numbers at the dot.

Blackhawks Special Teams Stats

Just like their record, the Blackhawks have regressed a bit in the way of special teams, especially on the power play.

Power Play

At Halloween the Blackhawks power play was 8-of-29 with a 27.6% success rate, which was sixth in the league. They’re currently 12-of-58 for 20.7%. on the man advantage. This is now 18th in the league. The team has experimented with a five forward unit recently, which included Raddysh, Toews, Kane, Kurashev and Domi. But this doesn’t seem to be the answer.

Chicago Blackhawks Celebrate
The Blackhawks are experimenting with a power play unit comprised of five forwards. (Photo by Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images)

With defenseman Seth Jones now back in the lineup, I assume the Blackhawks will go back to more traditional power play units.

Penalty Kill

Also at Halloween, the Blackhawks had allowed 10 goals on 39 tries on the penalty kill. This was good for 26th in the league. They have currently allowed 17 goals on 67 tries, which is now 24th in the league. It’s a mild improvement, and I’m sure the Blackhawks will take it.

Goaltender Numbers for Mrazek, Stalock & Soderblom

Goaltending was thought to be a weakness headed into this season for the Blackhawks. So far, this hasn’t been the case at all. Due to injuries, three different netminders have manned the crease in these first 19 games. For the most part, they’ve all held their own in their time in net. Here’s a quick look at their numbers.

Petr Mrazek, .887 save percentage, 3.67 goals against average, 7 games played

Yeah, those aren’t the best stats. Mrazek looked lights out when he returned to the lineup after his groin injury, but he’s come back down to earth a little bit since then. He’s also arguably been up against the stiffest competition of the three goalies.

Petr Mrazek Chicago Blackhawks
Petr Mrazek has had some tough assignments with the Chicago Blackhawks of late. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Alex Stalock: .914 SV%, 2.93 GAA in 7 games played

Stalock was called into more action when Mrazek went down with a groin injury. His unorthodox style of play somehow was getting the job done, until his head hit the goal post after a collision with New York Islanders’ Casey Cizikas on Nov. 1. Stalock was placed in concussion protocol. While he’s been skating before team practices, there is still no timeline for his return.

Arvid Soderblom: .909 SV%, 3.19 GAA, in 7 games played (six games started)

Everyone, including head coach Luke Richardson, was worried Soderblom’s development would be stunted if he was thrown into NHL action too soon. But Mrazek’s injury and then Stalock’s concussion forced the young goaltender to be utilized sooner rather than later. He’s been calm and steady in the crease, showcasing uncommon poise for a 23-year-old.

Related – 4 Things Blackhawks Fans Can Be Thankful For in 2022

It hasn’t been a good stretch for the Blackhawks between the holidays of Halloween and Thanksgiving. But hockey is a fickle sport, and things always seem to happen in spurts. Let’s hope we will be looking at a different story when we revisit this on Christmas. In the meantime, I hope everyone enjoys the holiday season. Besides the NHL playoffs in April, it’s the most wonderful time of the year!