Chicago Blackhawks

Chicago Blackhawks: What We Learned from the Hawks Preseason

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 30: Jonathan Toews #19 of the Chicago Blackhawks battles for control of the puck with Paul Martin #7 of the Pittsburgh Penguins during a preseason game at the United Center on September 30, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Marc DensonContributor IOctober 4, 2011

The Chicago Blackhawks did not have the best preseason ever, but there was a lot to be learned from the exhibition chunk of the schedule. Even though the preseason is just six glorified scrimmages, there are still many things to be learned.

Offensive Woes

After finishing 2-4-1 in the preseason, the Blackhawks saw where they need to improve. Offense is something that seemed to be a big problem in the preseason. The Hawks only totaled 16 goals in seven exhibition games.

In the majority of the games, only one Hawk managed to step up offensively. When the regular season begins, it will take multiple role players doing their part in each game in order to get that offensive spark going for Chicago.

Between the Pipes

A good sign for the Blackhawks is that the goaltending appears to be right where it left off to end the 2010-2011 season. Goaltender Corey Crawford showed that he wants to avoid the "sophomore slump" by finishing out the preseason with a .901 save percentage. Alexander Salak did not have a bad preseason either, posting a .927 save percentage. Salak did not play in as many games as Crawford, but those are still good numbers for the Hawks back-up goaltender. 

Chicago Toughness

The Blackhawks did show that they are not going to be pushed around, but they racked up about 87 penalty minutes. This is both a good and a bad number. The Hawks were showing that they can be a big enforcer team, but also that they are not too disciplined on the time they take the penalties.



Power Play Problems?

The power play of the Blackhawks was nothing like it was last season. Chicago only converted on 22 percent of their power play opportunities. This statistic is unacceptable for an NHL team that hopes to make a Stanley Cup run. Last season the Hawks were up a whole percentage point, converting on 23.1% of power plays. 




Follow Marc Denson on Twitter: @MarcDenson

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