I’m not setting out to trash Anaheim or anything, because frankly, the Ducks are really freaking good. They’re second overall in the NHL with 46 points, they’re 7-0-3 and their last 10, and they’ve only lost three games in regulation this entire season. They just re-signed Getzlaf and Perry, they have some young talent, good goaltending, you get the picture.
But they’re not the Chicago Blackhawks.
I was looking at where they ranked in some statistical categories in the NHL given that the first place Blackhawks are heading into their rink to play them tonight, and as great as they’ve been, they just can’t touch ‘em.
Chicago: 51 (1st)
Anaheim: 46 (2nd)
Chicago: .879 (1st)
Anaheim: .821 (2nd)
Chicago: 3.31 (2nd)
Anaheim: 3.21 (4th)
Chicago: 2.03 (T1st with Ottawa)
Anaheim: 2.36 (5th)
5-on-5 for/against ratio
Chicago: 1.72 (1st)
Anaheim: 1.48 (2nd)
Chicago: 31.6 (4th)
Anaheim: 27.4 (25th)
Chicago: 26.5 (4th)
Anaheim 28.6 (15th)
Chicago: 49.8% (17th)
Anaheim: 47.3% (25th)
PDO (somewhat of a luck factor – explanation here)
Anaheim: 1.045 (highest)
Chicago: 1.027 (2nd highest)
…In a nutshell, Anaheim has been very good.
Chicago’s been on another level.
The Ducks have two things going for them when you compare the two squads: their powerplay has been clicking at a league high 24.7%, while the Blackhawks are in 13th, scoring 18.6% of the time, and y’know…they beat them 3-2 in a shootout the first time they played. So applause for that.
Either way: tonight’s game is appointment viewing. The puck drops at 7:00 p.m. PST, and can be seen on the NHL Network (US), CSN Chicago, and Fox Sports West.