This week will see the NHL season move into its second month. While the Hawks are one of the hotter teams in the league, that doesn’t mean we truly know what they are. Yes, they sit atop the West, but you don’t need to look any farther than who they are tied atop the conference with to know how weird the season has been. That would be the Edmonton Oilers. And no one thinks they’re really that good. So what the hell is going on here?
For matters close to town, what’s funny is that the Oilers probably deserve their spot atop the West more than the Hawks do. Edmonton is plus in Corsi and Fenwick, though just barely, where the Hawks are not. The Oilers have a plus shot-share per 60 at evens, and the Hawks are dead-ass last in that category. That isn’t good. If you go by xGF%, and whether you do or not I won’t complain, the Oilers are only slightly outplaying their even-strength performance where the Hawks are massively doing so. What a strange world indeed.
Quite simply, pretty much everything about the Hawks is something of a mirage right now. They have the league’s highest PDO by three full points over Minnesota. Their even-strength save-percentage is a full two points ahead of Montreal’s. We know this. In fact, they could be something like last year’s Canadiens, except they have way more top end talent than the Habs did last year.
And yet I can’t sit here and say it’s totally false.