Not exactly shocking news if you have been following along this off-season, but GREAT news nonetheless. Last year felt so weird without Jonathan Toews. He and Kane have been the faces of the organization for over a decade and it felt wrong to be down to one face. He is a guy that is so important to the team on and off the ice. He will take all the important face-offs. He can take all the most difficult defensive assignments. Toews allows everyone to be themselves and play within themselves.
I will be doing a FULL preview of the forward group early next week and we have Kris Versteeg coming on Redline to help preview the season, but even though the Blackhawks added Toews, Seth Jones, Tyler Johnson, Jake McCabe, Kirby Dach, and Marc Andre Fleury they still project to roughly the same amount of points that they had last year.
Which is why some analytics fall apart for me. Especially the people who rely on them for projections. Past performance, especially with foreign variables from being on other teams, aren't a good indicator of future performance/results. An improved defense from having Toews, Dach, McCabe, Johson, Seth Jones, etc means more stifled possessions and turnovers. Which means more kicks at the can offensively for Kane, Debrincat, etc etc etc. It's all linked. You can't just put numbers from the past into a calculator and make assumptions. My calculations per my eyes and brain take those extra quality possessions created by defensive improvement and guys who can hang on to the puck putting the Hawks in the 94-100 point range. Full preview coming this week, but in the meantime here is your White Sox heavy episode of the week