Let’s marvel at what the Chicago Blackhawks have accomplished


Not a single power play goal from a defender?  How is that possible Chicago?

Not a single power play goal from a defender? How is that possible Chicago?
picture: Getty Images

no, that is not so shit organization that they’ve basically erased themselves from NHL history or PR. Look at any of these Stanley Cup Playoff ads and you won’t see a single highlight or image of a Hawk. Even though they won the cup three times, or been the most popular team for nearly a decade, or had stars the league couldn’t wait to market. All away. And rightly so.

And no, it doesn’t have the slightest number of regular wins in the league, as does Montreal — which has been an absolute car wreck in a dumpster all season — meaning Chicago was the worst team in the league by any measure. The Habs had the excuse that Carey Price was basically absent all season. The Hawks were built to win! All of this is impressive.

No, what we’re here for… well, not necessarily partying, because nothing about the Hawks should be celebrated, no matter how you feel about them now, but cherished. Maybe even excited. It’s not to say that something is impressive, even if it’s the incompetent achievement of a clueless and unfortunate business run by an owner who may not know where he is four fifths of the day.

The Hawks went all season without a single one Energy-Play a goal from a defender. That might not sound like much at first, but remember no team has managed that in 82 games. The last team to do so was the Sabers expansion in 1971, and that was a 78-game season. Maybe Doug Barrie or Al Hamilton (I’m sure they’re legends) could have had the advantage with four extra games. We will never know. Again, it’s important to emphasize that this was an expansion team, one of six when the league doubled, and those teams were seriously watered down. And once again, the Hawks were built to win this season!

Really take some time to think about how hard this is threading the needle. The Hawks had 245 powergame options. That was good for 12th place in the league! It’s not that they haven’t had a lot of time to work, or significantly less than other teams. They had far more than most!

All of the Hawks’ D-men produced 64 shots over the entire season. Seth Jones and Erik Gustafsson shared 53 of those as the Hawks almost always played with just four forwards up front.play. So you bear the brunt.

And Seth Jones is no fence post with balloon hands. He’s not among the top five players in the league, but he’s certainly in the next league or two. He had a season without power-scored goals in Columbus before, but Zach Werenski quarterbacked that power.play. The keys were handed over to him in Chicago. Every time he skipped the boards with the No. 1 –Most of the time, he played with Patrick Kane and Alex DeBrincat, two of the league’s best attacking players.

And not once could he find an alley from 40 feet away? He never once sneaked in through the back door to tap himself? Not once in those 33 shots at the net (and how did he get 33 power play shots in an entire season?) has the puck failed to hit a penalty taker’s stick, knee or butt and bounce over a goalie’s shoulder? Not once could a goalkeeper just sniff? Just let one sneak through him?

While Gustafssson is decidedly washed and should have been brought to the alley somewhere in November, of his 20 shots none of them could have batted or fallen in a way that a keeper simply wouldn’t have expected?

How bad was this design? How helpless were not just one but two head coaches and the assistants not finding a way to just get more shots on the net? For comparison the Avs’ Cale Makar launched 56 shots at the net on the powerplay this year. 245 power plays, and the Hawks sent their D-men into a brick wall practically every damn time. It has to have been the most predictable power play ever (let me tell you, it was).

So cheers, Hawks. At a time when it’s hard to be uniquely bad, to do things so Cluseau-esque in ways we’ve never seen before, you nailed it. No sport is a high-low game, but we need to mark the lows when they’re so comically inept. Well done.

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