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Blackhawks improved 16 points last season

Wednesday, 09.16.2009 / 3:00 AM / 2009-2010 Season Preview

By John Kreiser - Columnist


Category Rank (Conference)
2008-09 Points 104
(4TH WEst/6TH NHL)
Change from 2007-08 +16
Home Points 56
(4th WEst/8TH NHL)
Away Points 48
(3rd WEst/5TH NHL)
Advantage Margin            +33
All those fans (22,000-plus average) at the United Center may have helped the Hawks in one regard: They drew a League-high 213 power plays at home, 12 more than any other team, while allowing just 165.

Even-Strength Goals Margin        +41
The Hawks helped themselves playing 4-on-4, outscoring opponents 12-5 (6-0 in non-OT situations. They also tied Washington for the League lead with 16 empty-net goals, while allowing just six.
Special Teams Goal Margin        +10
Considering the large edge in power plays the Hawks enjoyed at home, outscoring opponents with the extra man by just six goals at home was a disappointment.

Goals by defensemen            37
The Hawks didn't have a home-run hitter on the blue line, but they did have four players score six or more goals, giving them excellent balance from their defensive corps.   

Overtime Record
Total: 10-5-7 (OT: 6-5, SO: 4-7)

The Hawks struggled badly in shootouts, largely due to their goaltenders' inability to keep the puck out of the net. Chicago goaltenders stopped only 17 of 31 attempts, a .548 percentage. At home, they were just 8-for-19 (.421).

Times Scored First
43 (Record: 33-5-5)

The Hawks' .767 winning percentage when scoring first was fifth in the NHL, and their five regulation losses when getting the game's first goal was only one more than Detroit's League low.       

Best 08-09 Number             18-9
Chicago's record in blowouts -- games decided by three or more goals. The Hawks sent their fans home with a big smile a lot; they were 12-3 at home when the winning margin was three goals or more.

Worst 08-09 Number          19
One-goal losses for the Hawks, including overtime and shootout games. The Hawks were just 12-19 in one-goal contests -- including a League-worst 4-10 (.286) record at home.
The Hawks have their two usual two long trips (six games in November and eight in January. They also start the season a long way from home, playing two games against Florida in Helsinki, Finland, before spending most of the rest of October at home.

Quote of the Day

Life's about opportunity and how you respond to that opportunity, and obviously he must have some swagger about him, some confidence about him, because he was solid. He made some good saves. He was 6-foot-3 on every shot, which is a good thing for a goalie. He played well. We got a win.

— Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock on rookie goaltender Garret Sparks, who made 24 saves in his first NHL start, a 3-0 win vs. Oilers
World Cup of Hockey 2016