NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 16: Bryan Bickell #29 of the Chicago Blackhawks plays against the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena on November 16, 2013 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
In this Monday edition of Hawks Headlines, we take a look at what advanced metrics tell us about the Chicago Blackhawks’ standing against two of their divisional rivals, check out conversations with Bryan Bickell and David Rundblad, and a Hawks player that is really flying after the Olympic break.
-We start out with our favorite stat geek, as Jen takes an incredibly deep and enlightening look at the Hawks and how they stack up against the St. Louis Blues and Colorado Avalanche through the prism of advanced hockey metrics. Really great stuff here if you’re ready to get your nerd on. [Second City Hockey]
-The reason for those comparisons is that the Hawks are currently in a dogfight with the Blues and Avs for the top spot in the division, which would not only mean home ice advantage in the playoffs, but would also mean that they’d be able to avoid those two teams in the first round thanks to the league’s new playoff format. [Chicago Tribune]
-With nine straight penalties killed off and 17 out of their last 18 power plays against being killed off, the Hawks have turned what had been a weakness this season into more of a strength, and it’s coming at just the right time. [CSN Chicago]
-Jonathan Toews had a really strong Olympic Games for the gold medal winning Canadian squad, and he has continued that hot play in the NHL, scoring yet another goal in Sunday’s win over the Buffalo Sabres. [Daily Herald]
-One Hawk who has been the subject of some intense scrutiny this season has been Bryan Bickell, but despite the focus on his contributions on the ice, he is more concerned with how his team is playing. [ESPN Chicago]
-Finally, David Rundblad didn’t get a ton of playing time on Sunday in Buffalo, but he did appreciate the opportunity to play alongside Nick Leddy on the team’s third defensive pairing. [Chicago Sun-Times]