The identification of the Blackhawks over the previous few years has been they seem to be a high-risk, high-reward workforce. They’d quit loads of probabilities, however they’d generate loads of probabilities, too, and their offense and goaltending would hold them in video games.
The 2020-21 Blackhawks are totally different. They’re nonetheless permitting scoring probabilities at a excessive price, however they’ve restricted the high-quality ones and have changed into a workforce that may win low-scoring affairs.
“Good groups discover a approach to win these video games,” Calvin de Haan mentioned. “I feel everybody’s been enjoying fairly properly for essentially the most half. We have strong goaltending, which clearly helps, and as a gaggle of six defensemen on the market we’ve been strong. The 12 forwards which might be within the lineup are giving us an opportunity to win as properly and it looks as if we’re additionally scoring objectives at key occasions that form of put us on high as properly, at any time when we win. It feels good, it is enjoyable to be across the rink.”
The Dallas Stars have been one of many NHL’s hottest offensive groups this season and the Blackhawks had been capable of maintain them to solely two objectives in 125:11 of motion. The Blackhawks received each video games 2-1 in time beyond regulation, and that claims one thing about this workforce.
“We’re attempting to get a sort of hockey collectively that we will win sustainably,” head coach Jeremy Colliton mentioned. “We have to really feel like we have now an opportunity to win each night time. We love scoring objectives, little doubt about that, however you have to hold it out of your web if you wish to have any sort of constant success and I really feel like we’re doing that.”
A considerable amount of credit score should go to the goaltending, which has been terrific this season after a tough begin. No workforce has a greater save share since Jan. 25 than the Blackhawks, who’re at .944 due to Kevin Lankinen and Malcolm Subban.
However the five-man unit in entrance of them deserves reward as properly. They’re enjoying extra structured and are proving it towards elite groups just like the Carolina Hurricanes and Stars, all whereas doing so with out two key gamers in Kirby Dach and Jonathan Toews, who’s the workforce’s high defensive ahead.
Who would’ve thought that protection and goaltending can be one of many strengths of this hockey membership?
“That is the important thing, you have received to have the ability to discover a approach to win,” Lankinen mentioned. “On the finish of the day, it would not matter if it is 6-4 or 2-1, you simply wish to discover a approach to win and I feel the final couple weeks we have been doing simply that. … That is simply a part of the workforce effort. All people’s purchased in to this venture and it is thrilling.”