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Chicago Blackhawks: Stunning Offense Is Only Half of The Story

Eric LaForgeCorrespondent IDecember 19, 2009

BUFFALO, NY - DECEMBER 11:  Goalie Antti Niemi #31 of the Chicago Blackhawks warms up before the game against the Buffalo Sabres at HSBC Arena on December 11, 2009 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
Rick Stewart/Getty Images

This year, the Chicago Blackhawks are known for their star offensive players. Jonathon Toews, Marian Hossa, and Patrick Sharp are three of the biggest superstars in the game today.

One of the biggest mistakes a Hawks fan can make is to think that these three players are the reason they are winning games. Although they are putting up good numbers, the Hawks still have the ninth best offense in the NHL.

The question is, how do they have the ninth best offense in the NHL and still hold second place in the standings?

The answer lies in another statistic. The Blackhawks have the best defense in the NHL, allowing an average of two goals per game (yes, 2.00 exactly). They are six goals ahead of New Jersey, who has the second best defense. All of this despite playing only one less game.

A lot of this has to do with goal tending, and more of it has to do with the defensive play in front of the goalies. The Blackhawks have a very young defensive squad that is also very talented.

The oldest player on the roster is Brent Sopel, who is only 32-years-old.

The thing that I like in the Blackhawks is that they are using the best strategy possible. They are limiting the quality shots on goal (and the shots on goal in general) and using their strong offense to take advantage of the other team's mistakes.

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A lot of people think that the new era of hockey revolves around offense. I disagree, I think that the new era of hockey forces you to have a stronger defense.

That's exactly what the Blackhawks are doing this season, and they are seeing a lot of wins because of it.

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