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Predicting Blackhawks Goals – Defence

August 19, 2019, 6:22 AM ET [238 Comments]
Tyler Cameron
Chicago Blackhawks Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT

Time to jump back into the prediction machine to take a stab how many goals the Blackhawks will score next year.

Like last year, I will be breaking it down from the defence position, followed by my guestimates at forward.

Overall, the Blackhawks scored 267 goals in the 2018-19 season. That was good for 8th in the NHL.

This was more than I predicted in my 2-part series last year in which I broke down the Hawks scoring:

Forward – 212
Defence – 38
TOTAL = 250

So, the Hawks exceeded my predictions by 17 goals. My thinking was if they were able to hit the 250+ GF mark, they would likely be a playoff team again. Well, I didn't account for the terrible defence.

My early inclination this year is that the Hawks will be around the same in GF but will bring that terrible 3.55 GA/GP average way down.

Before we dive into this year's prediction for the D, let's take a quick look at my best guesses before last season:

Erik Gustafsson – 8
Brent Seabrook – 6
Duncan Keith – 5
Brandon Manning – 4
Henri Jokiharju – 4
Jan Rutta – 4
Gustav Forsling – 3
Connor Murphy – 2
Carl Dahlstrom – 1
Blake Hillman – 1


… and this is how it actually shook out in 2018-19:

Erik Gustafsson – 17
Duncan Keith – 6
Brent Seabrook – 5
Connor Murphy – 5
Gustav Forsling – 3
Jan Rutta – 2
Slater Koekkoek – 1
Brandon Manning – 1
Henri Jokiharju, Carl Dahlstrom, Brandon Davidson and Dennis Gilbert – 0


I guessed right that Gustafsson would lead the Hawks backend in goals, however, I was off by 9 goals. 17 goals for Gus was a feat that not too many could have predicted.

Overall, I was also close with a guess of 38 goals vs. 40 actual tallies.

So, here is the breakdown over the last few years for total goals from the defence in Chicago:

2016-17 = 30
2017-18 = 33
2018-19 = 40

The Hawks have made a few changes this offseason with Stan Bowman hoping to cut down on the number of pucks that go into Chicago's net.

IN: de Haan, Maatta
OUT: Jokiharju

In my last article, I laid out how I thought Jeremy Colliton would start the season in Chicago:

Keith – Gustafsson
Maatta – Murphy
De Haan – Seabrook

Extra: Koekkoek

I am assuming that de Haan will be healthy in the above pairings. If he's not quite ready, I could easily see Boqvist, Dahlstrom or even Philip Holm sticking around a little longer.

Here is what Rockford could potentially look like:

Holm – Dahlstrom
Carlsson – Boqvist

Extras/Rotating/Headed to Indy: Tuulola, Osipov, Ryczek, McArdle

With all that being said, let's jump into my best guess at the 2019-20 season and what's in store with goals from the backend:

Erik Gustafsson – 14
Duncan Keith – 6
Olli Maatta – 5
Brent Seabrook – 4
Connor Murphy – 4
Adam Boqvist - 3
Calvin de Haan - 2
Carl Dahlstrom – 1
Slater Koekkoek – 1


I have them scoring the same amount from the backend as last year.

Erik Gustafsson's goal totals dip slightly, but I have him still at a respectable 14 goals due to the amount of powerplay ice time he will receive.

Duncan Keith oddly enough played better with Erik Gustafsson when paired together than any other partner. Even though Gus is a wild card, if they are paired together again, Keith will be on the loose in the offensive zone as well. I have him netting 6 goals next year, which would be on par from last year.

The rest is fairly standard as well as I don't anticipate any crazy breakouts from guys like Maatta or de Haan.

You will see Boqvist on there for 3 goals. I believe if he does come up for a stint or two in Chicago, it would only take 15-20 games for him to achieve this number if he sneaks on the PP2 or fills in for Gustafsson on PP1 if an injury were to occur (*knock on wood*) to #56.

Next up, I will have the predictions be forwards.

This should spark some more fun debate on the boards. Let's hear your predictions.

See ya out there!

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