The road to the Stanley Cup finals is well underway in the NHL, as the sides from all divisions all remain within touching distance of the all-important playoff spots. However, one side that will be looking to improve are the Chicago Blackhawks.
Current Standings In Central Division
Before even thinking about the Stanley Cup, we take a look at the Vegas odds for NHL predictions and it looks like the Blackhawks must rediscover their form in the Central Division. They will only be playing games against the teams in their division during the regular season due to the changes made to the NHL schedule. The season hasn’t started as well as they would have been hoping, and that early season form has resulted in sportsbooks pricing the Blackhawks as outsiders to win the Central Division this term.
They have played eight games already this season, but have managed to pick up just two wins from these games. That leaves them in sixth place, and far behind the pace that is being set by the teams at the top of the conference. In contrast, the Dallas Stars have won all four of their games so far this season. Meanwhile, the Columbus Blue Jackets are the leaders in the conference, having picked up nine points after eight games.
Home Form Is Solid
There is still a long way to go in the regular season, and the Blackhawks will be able to take confidence from the home form that they have achieved so far this term. They have only played at the United Center on two occasions, but both of the wins they have achieved this season have come in Chicago. That will certainly be a building block that Jeremy Colliton will be looking to build on during his second full season as coach of the franchise.
Their two wins came in back-to-back wins against the Detroit Red Wings. They won the first game of those 4-1, with Calvin de Haan, Andrew Shaw, Mattias Janmark and Patrick Kane scoring the goals. That success was quickly followed up with another win against the Red Wings, with Pius Suter scoring three in a comfortable 6-2 victory. However, building on that form will be essential to their chances this season in the Central Division.
Team Leaders So Far This Season
It may still be an early point of the season, but some of the Blackhawks roster have started the campaign in decent form. Three Chicago players are locked as top goal scorers for the season so far, with Patrick Kane, Mattias Janmark and Pius Suter all having found the net on three occasions.
Kane is the outright leading points scorer at this stage of the season, as he has scored seven points. Meanwhile, Duncan Keith leads the team for assists, having recorded five already this term.
What Should Be The Blackhawks Target This Season?
It has been far from a perfect start for the Blackhawks this season, and the aspects of their game that they will need to improve on is clear. They are conceding far too many goals at present, as they have let in 28 to this point, which is an average of 3.5 goals against per game. If this part of their game isn’t amended, they are more likely to fall further down the Central Division’s league standings as the season progresses.
Winning the Stanley Cup looks to be an unachievable goal this season for the Blackhawks, which means a place in the playoffs would represent a much more realistic target for them.