Konroyd: One statistic tells the story

988017.png

Konroyd: One statistic tells the story

I know were only three games into the season, but there is only one team (as I write) with three wins: the Chicago Blackhawks. There are a few noticeable reasons for the fast start: the return of Marian Hossa, the improved play of all six defensemen, the depth on all four lines and the solid net-minding we have seen thus far.
After being around the game as long as I have, I know there are certain stats that coaches zero in on, and one of the top attention-getters is penalty-killing. Chicago currently ranks third in the NHL in this department, and this, albeit in a small sample size, is a good sign.
Like the NFL, the NHL is a copycat league, and you just have to look at who has won the Stanley Cup over the last six seasons to figure out who gets to the final dance. Of the six teams that have hoisted Lord Stanley since 2007, only the Boston Bruins finished outside of the top eight in penalty kills. Chicago (10), Anaheim (07) and Los Angeles (12) all finished with the fourth best penalty-killing records when they won their respective Cups. We see a trend here and so do coaches, that your penalty killing is a reflection of your team defense.
Obviously your goaltending has a lot to say about your penalty killing, and for the Blackhawks, so far so good. Another trend coach Joel Quenneville has got to love is the lack of penalties called on his team. The Blackhawks have been whistled for 10 infractions in the first three games. So lets enjoy this view atop the NHL standings for now, as we may be looking from a different vantage point next week. And lets applaud the Blackhawks for getting their penalty kill from the outhouse to the penthouse during this extended offseason.

Thirteen Blackhawks land on finalized World Cup of Hockey rosters

snc_panarin_punks_us_in_iihf_05-22_640x360_691806787670.jpg

Thirteen Blackhawks land on finalized World Cup of Hockey rosters

Blackhawks forward Marcus Kruger and defenseman Ville Pokka were added to Team Sweden and Team Finland, respectively, as team rosters were completed for the World Cup of Hockey on Friday.

Christian Ehrhoff, who was traded to the Blackhawks during the season, was added to Team Europe.

Nine Blackhawks were already chosen for their respective country’s teams back in March: Corey Crawford, Jonathan Toews and Duncan Keith (Team Canada), Patrick Kane (USA), Artem Anisimov and Artemi Panarin (Russia), Teuvo Teravainen (Finland), Niklas Hjalmarsson (Sweden) and Marian Hossa (Team Europe).

Michal Kempny, a defenseman the Blackhawks signed earlier this week, was also named to Team Czech Republic in March.

The World Cup of Hockey will be held from Sept. 17 to Oct. 1 in Toronto.

Watch: Kid imitates Patrick Kane's post-goal celly in youth hockey game

stl_hawks_going_forward_04-26_1280x720_674358339585.jpg

Watch: Kid imitates Patrick Kane's post-goal celly in youth hockey game

It shouldn't come as much of a surprise that young hockey players are patterning their games off Patrick Kane.

But the next generation of scorers are modeling their post-goal celebrations after the Blackhawks star, too.

Check out this video of a kid in a youth hockey game mimicking Kane's celebration from this year's playoffs, when he scored the double-overtime winner in Game 5 of the Blackhawks' series against the Blues.

Not bad, kid!

Kane recognized the kid's celly game, tweeting the video out to his followers Friday afternoon.

Blackhawks announce three new signings

snc_panarin_punks_us_in_iihf_05-22_640x360_691806787670.jpg

Blackhawks announce three new signings

The Blackhawks agreed to terms with goaltender Lars Johansson, defenseman Michal Kempny and forward Martin Lundberg on one-year deals on Tuesday.

The 25-year-old Kempny had 21 points (five goals, 16 assists) in 59 games with Avangard Omsk (KHL) last season. He had two assists in eight games with the Czech Republic in the IIHF World Championship.

Johansson, 28, spent the last three seasons with Frolunda HC (Swedish Hockey League). He was 56-27-0 over those three seasons. Last season, he had a league-leading 1.74 goals-against average and a 27-6-0 record.

The 25-year-old Lundberg had 13 goals and eight assists in 44 games with Skelleftea AIK (Swedish Hockey League). He also had two goals in eight games with Sweden in the World Championship.