Thought I would take the time to dig deep into some nerdlingers for you. Let’s get to it.
We talked last night, you would have heard it this morning if you were so inclined, on the podcast about Jonathan Toews and Kirby Dach. The idea since Dach was drafted is that he would one day supplant Toews as the #1 center, and hopefully soon in that it would only make the Hawks stronger, not due to any decline of Toews. And after a slow start, Toews’s metrics are actually pretty stout the past 15 games. 54.9 CF%, 55. 2 xGF%. That’s probably more than stout. Dach’s numbers are obviously less so.
But what you’re seeing above is the offensive zone starts for Toews and then Dach the last 15 games. Which has to raise questions about how exactly you’re going to develop Dach by starting him outside the offensive zone 60% of the time, not to mention saddling him with fourth-line players. Dach’s certainly going to have to learn to play in his own zone, but right now he is a gifted offensive player and the Hawks are actually short on scoring. So why is he taking the ass end of shift starts?
If the Hawks would like to know why Dach hasn’t registered a point in 12 games, here you go. He’s not being given the best chance. And this is the future for your team, at least it had better be. Is there no confidence that Toews can turn the ice? It’s hard to know because this is how Toews has been used all season. But if the Hawks hope to get more out of Dach this year, they have to get him up the ice. And we know the Hawks can’t do that themselves.
That’s Connor Murphy’s relative xGF% above the Hawks rate. It’s the 7th best mark in the league among d-men. To boot, no one else in the top 20 is getting worse zone starts than Murphy. Only Jared Spurgeon and Patrik Nemeth are even close. So next time Pat and Eddie are bellowing about how good Keith and de Haan have been and how they’re the two best Hawks defensemen, just remember this and that neither is anywhere close to Murphy. Who will have to be traded in the offseason for cap and roster space because no one is going to want de Haan and his one shoulder or Maatta and his no talent. And you should throw your hands up frantically accordingly.
That’s Corey Crawford’s high-danger save-percentage at evens, which ranks third in the league behind Tuukka Rask and Henrik Lundqvist. This has been something of a specialty of Crow’s the past few years, as he tends to make just about the most amount of saves he shouldn’t make in the league. The past five years, only Sergei Bobrovsky has a better high-danger SV%, and Ben Bishop is right behind him, and both have been Vezina finalists while Crow never has. In that time, Crow also has the best dSV%, which is the difference between a goalie’s expected save-percentage and his actual. Hopefully, for his sake, there’s a contending team out there that sees these numbers and makes the Hawks a boffo offer for Crow at the deadline, because he deserves playing behind better than this utter trash fire as well as the lack of recognition he gets here. But I tend to doubt that will be the case, and instead he’ll just walk in favor of Robin Lehner and his gaping maw of a mouth to tell you just how hard he’s working behind the same shit defense.