The Blackhawks have won once in their last five games. The schedule over that time looks like this:
- 3-4 loss to Ottawa
- 1-2 loss to Colorado
- 1-3 loss to Winnipeg
- 3-2 win vs Nashville
- 2-3 loss to Carolina
Let’s take a look at the numbers over those five games to see which Blackhawks were mostly responsible for the current slump.
The often ridiculed Trevor Van Riemsdyk dominated play over the last five games. Chicago outshot opponents by 43 shots when he was on the ice. That is ridiculously good over a short, five-game stretch.
Hartman, Hinostroza, Kempny, Toews, Forsling, Rasmussen, and Keith all had a positive impact on shots.
Seabrook performed the worst in terms of shot differential, allowing opponents to outshoot Chicago by 33 shots when he was on the ice. The Campbell – Seabrook and Hjalmarsson – Seabrook pairings were not good. The main pairing partner Seabrook has excelled with is Michal Kempny.
Expected Goal +/- takes into account all the information below from every on-ice shot to determine how many goals should have been scored.
- Shot type (Wrist shot, slap shot, deflection, etc.)
- Shot distance
- Shot angle
- Rebounds (Whether or not the shot was a rebound)
- Rush shots (Whether or not the shot was a rush shot)
- Strength state (5v5, powerplay, etc.)
With shot-based stats like Corsi, a shot from the slot is equal to a shot from the point. This is because every shot has the same value. That value being one. A shot from the point is one shot. A shot from the slot is one shot.
With expected goals, it will recognize that a shot from the point and a shot from the slot are two separate entities. A shot from the point is a shot that takes place far from the goalie and less likely to go in. A shot from the slot is close to the goalie, could possibly be a rush or rebound shot, and would have more value or a higher expected goal number than a shot from the point.
To sum it up, higher danger shots have more value than medium danger shots which have more value than low danger shots. Each shot receives its own value based on the expected chance that the shot could be a goal. By adding all these values together, we can see who was expected to score the most when each player was on the ice.
GOOD: The Blackhawks were expected to outscore opponents the most when Van Riemsdyk, Kempny, Hartman, or Hinostroza were on the ice.
BAD: Opponents were likely to outscore Chicago the most when players like Seabrook, Campbell, Kane, or Panarin were on the ice.
Scoring Chance +/- tells the same story as the previous two charts.
But forget shots, expected goals, and scoring chances. Let’s take a look at the actual 5v5 goal differential from the past five games to see which players gave up the most goals.
The actual goal numbers are very similar to the shot and scoring chance based numbers in the first three charts. Van Riemsdyk was best with a (+2). Hartman, Hinostroza, and Kempny were also positive.
Hjalmarsson and Kruger had the worst goal differential with (-5). Seabrook, Panik, and Rasmussen had a (-4) goal differential in the last five games.
Forsling is starting to play better and actually led the Hawks in shot rate. He was shooting the puck more than any other player over the past five games. Hinostroza and Kempny were also getting off many shots. Both of those defensemen I mentioned were being paired mostly with Trevor Van Riemsdyk.
RED FLAG: Artemi Panarin had the third lowest shot rate on the team. Six defensemen were getting more shots off than Panarin. For some reason, Panarin was barely shooting during the Blackhawks last five games.
Hinostroza continues to generate a great number of scoring chances.
And now time for the power rankings. Possession rankings are calculated by combining many team based stats like Corsi, Fenwick, shots on goal, expected goals, actual goals, and scoring chance numbers when each player was on the ice.
Production rankings are calculated by combining individual stats like point, shot, scoring chance, and expected goal production.
The red flag here is the Russian line. Anisimov ranks 9th in possession and 8th in production. Kane ranks 8th in possession and 9th in production. Panarin ranks 10th in possession and 12th in production.
The only forward Panarin individually had more production (points, shots, scoring chances, expected goals) than was Marcus Kruger.
The Panarin – Anisimov – Kane line has not been good in the last five games. The Blackhawks rely heavily on that line for scoring. The Blackhawks current slump could be somewhat a result of the Russian lines poor play.
Kero hasn’t produced much, but he is playing on a fourth line with not much skill for teammates. Still, his possession numbers look really good, suggesting he could be an NHL level player.
Forsling use to be at the bottom of these rankings, but now he is improving. Kempny led in everything. Van Riemsdyk has been really good after he received consistent playing time.
Seabrook has been bad ever since Q took Michal Kempny off his pairing.
Overall, these last five games, the Blackhawks played the worst with these combos on the ice:
- Rasmussen – Kruger – Panik
- Panarin – Anisimov – Kane
- Campbell – Seabrook
- Hjalmarsson – Seabrook