The Blackhawks are currently 11-23-2 and coming off an 8-1 drubbing courtesy of the Dallas Stars . Going back to an article from earlier in the year where CHN used the Pittsburgh Penguins as a measuring stick, how has it held up since we checked in after 13 games?
Well, it’s still quite comparable. Going back to those 13 games, the Hawks had two more regulation wins at 5-8, but less points than their rebuilding Pittsburgh brethren.
So here’s a look at how Pittsburgh looked after 36 games and then 41 (the halfway mark of the NHL season) since it’s just five games away.
Penguins vs Blackhawks After 36 Games
The Pittsburgh Penguins stumbled to a 9-19-8 mark after 36 games, seeing a pair of six-game losing streaks in that span between the 13th game and the 36th. They went 6-14-3 after starting 3-5-5.
The Blackhawks since game 13? 6-15-2. It’s downright crazy how nearly game-for-game the two teams are. An overtime loss is the difference with the point total favoring the Penguins at a 26 to 24 mark–besting the current Blackhawks squad by a single victory’s worth of points.
After 41 games, the Penguins earned a 11-21-9 mark which included winning three out of four until the Penguins staggered into a 1o-game losing skid that saw them outscored 42-21. Is this foreshadowing for the Blackhawks, who have seemed to follow a very similar path and have of late, fallen victim to one injury after another?
Gone now it Tyler Johnson, currently third in goals and it certainly makes the challenge greater for a team currently sitting 30th in team goals. A ten-game skid is a depressing thought for any fan, player, or coach to even consider. But after Nick Foligno’s words following Sunday’s 8-1 loss to Dallas, he seems to sense an effort that could hold back momentum.
Nick Foligno: "My only hope for a game like today is we just finally hammer it through our thick heads of how we're going to need to play, and that is not it. That is just not who we are, not who we can be. That's not what we expect in the room; that's not what our fans should…
— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) January 1, 2024
What about Crosby’s Numbers against Bedard’s?
Remember, Crosby ended the season with 39 goals and 102 points. Bedard is currently at 15 goals and 33 points, which puts him on pace for 34 goals and 75 points.
Here are other marks for Crosby as a measuring points:
- After 36 games – 18 goals and 22 assists for 40 points
- After 41 games – 21 goals and 26 assists for 47 points
When it comes to the generational talents, Bedard trails Crosby by seven points but just three goals. In that five game span to the midway marker of the season, Crosby posted another seven points (3-4).
What does it tell us? On a pretty comparable team, Bedard trails his idol by a handful of points and by a few goals. The biggest difference is that Crosby maintained a point-per-game or over pace the entire season.
Is it a knock at Bedard? Not even close. I’d argue that Bedard has a more uphill battle in terms of production than Crosby did. In addition to Crosby who finished with 39 goals, the Penguins had three other players (Mark Recchi, John LeClair, and Ryan Malone) who were north of 20 goals. Five other players had double digits which included a pair (Colby Armstrong and Michel Ouellet) notching 16 apiece–and neither one played more than 50 games.
In contrast, only Jason Dickinson has double digit goals right now (12). He’s on pace to hit 27. From there, it would be Tyler Johnson (20.5) projected to get more than 20. That however seems unlikely as he’s now on the IR and that pace is at an 82 game clip.
While Bedard isn’t at the same pace as Crosby, it shows again that he’s doing more with less at his disposal. In short, the comparables are there and it should give optimism as to what Bedard will be capable of when Davidson really starts to put pieces around him.