Chicago Blackhawks: The Best Defense in the NHL

November 8th, 2009 by TAB BAMFORD Leave a reply »
We’re now a quarter of the way through the 2009-10 season, and the Chicago Blackhawks are establishing themselves as the best defensive team in the entire NHL. It might be a historically football-based cliche, but if “defense wins championships” then this could be another special year on Chicago’s west side.

Even with Brent Seabrook missing four games with a concussion, and Cristobal Huet struggling for the first few weeks of the season, the Blackhawks defense has helped compensate for their offensive issues. While the team’s power play has disappeared, their power play killing unit has remained at an elite level. The rest of the team’s defensive statistics bear witness to the Hawks supremacy in the league.

The Hawks tandem of Huet and Antti Niemi ranks seventh in the NHL in goals against average at 2.40 goals allowed per game. The save percentage for the two hasn’t been exceptional, but they haven’t been asked to be too busy between the pipes.

The Blackhawks are allowing only 22.7 shots on goal per game, the fewest in the NHL by more than three shots per game. When you take into consideration how well the Hawks defenders acceler ...

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