Coming into this season, an area the Chicago Blackhawks needed improvement in was 5-on-5 play. The Blackhawks were trending downward since before Jeremy Colliton took over. The sad part is, after firing Joel Quenneville, the Blackhawks are actually worse under Colliton in the 5-on-5 department.
Since Colliton took over as the Blackhawks’ head coach, the team has ranked near the bottom of the league in 5-on-5 play. Natural Stat Trick has the Blackhawks ranked 26th in goals allowed since the 2018–19 season and 10th in goals for since 2018–19 while playing 5-on-5 hockey. They have scored 430 goals and allowed 456 goals, which is a net of -26 goals.
Now, factor in special teams, which includes the penalty kill and power play, and the Blackhawks actually rank lower than at 5-on-5. They rank 29th with 689 goals allowed and 19th in goals scored with 634.
So, in the offseason, General Manager Stan Bowman tried to improve their team overall, adding junk from other teams in Marc-Andre Fleury, Tyler Johnson and Seth Jones. One man’s junk is another man’s treasure, but it turns out the Blackhawks might have bought some fool’s gold. Thus far, those additions have not panned out. In fact, they are having a worse 5-on-5 season. This season, the Blackhawks have been outscored 17–3 during 5-on-5 play. According to the Natural Stat Trick, they are currently ranked last in goals allowed and last in goals scored 5-on-5 on this season. The recap of the last game spells it out how putrid the Blackhawks have been 5-on-5 this season.
Now, it has been only five games and people theoretically should not be panicking because it is a long season, but this has been the norm under Colliton and his system.
Buckle up, Blackhawks fans. We are in for a bumpy ride.