The Chicago Blackhawks have made some history with their offense in the first two games of the regular season, and that is going to set the stage for an incredible battle with the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday night.
Like the Blackhawks, the Leafs have scored 15 goals through their first two games, as they’ve picked up wins over Winnipeg and New York. According to Sportsnet, the Blackhawks and Maple Leafs are the first two teams to score 15 goals in their first two regular season games since the Calgary Flames achieved the feat in 1989.
Unfortunately for the Hawks and Leafs, they fell short of the all-time record, as the Montreal Canadiens scored a jaw-dropping 18 goals in two games to kick off the 1978-79 season.
Even though the teams may not have set a record, they have definitely made some noise in the early stages of the campaign. The Blackhawks have a pair of players who already have six points, as Patrick Kane (two goals, four assists) and Ryan Hartman (one goal, five assists) have filled up the scoresheet in the early going.
The Blackhawks also have four players who have scored at least two goals, including Brandon Saad, who became just the second Blackhawks player to ever score a hat trick on opening night, joining the legendary Bobby Hull in that exclusive club.
All the while, the Blackhawks’ defense has managed to keep the puck out of the net, as they’ve allowed just two goals through two games en route to a pair of blowout wins over a pair of playoff teams from last season.
Now, the Blackhawks will go up against a Toronto team that has legitimate Stanley Cup aspirations after making a playoff run of their own last season. Nazem Kadri, who has two goals and two assists, and Auston Matthews, with a goal and three assists, lead the Leafs in scoring, but their strength comes in the balanced attack that they’ve brought to the ice under head coach Mike Babcock.
The Leafs have gotten multiple goals out of three different players, with Kadri, Patrick Marleau, and Zach Hyman each scoring two goals apiece. A staggering 12 different players have notched goals for Toronto this season, and that ability to get scoring from all parts of the lineup has made them a very dangerous team.
Perhaps the one weakness that Toronto has shown this season has been on the defensive side of the ice. They’ve given up seven goals already this season, including five to the Rangers a few nights ago. Frederik Andersen has to be better in net for the Leafs, and their defense has to do a better job of getting the puck back so that their offense can get to work.
Fans looking for fireworks in the game will be able to tune into NBC Sports Chicago at 6 p.m., when the puck drops between these two Original Six rivals.