We’re starting to get some analytical projections for the coming NHL season, and the results are (predictably) not favorable for the Blackhawks.
DraftKings (more info here) has the Blackhawks’ over/under for total points this season at 66.5 — do with that as you wish. That’s how those who wager on such things feel about Chicago this year. The only team with a lower total is Arizona (65.5).
The good people at JFresh have the Blackhawks dead last in the Central Division — behind Arizona. But the numbers are fairly comparable; they have the Blackhawks at 65 and the Coyotes at 67.
The deepest dive I’ve seen to date for projecting point totals has come from IneffectiveMatch. Their season preview has fancy charts and graphs and the such breaking down how they feel about every team in the league. And their Central Division projection is actually… pretty kind to the Blackhawks.
Their projection has the Hawks at 81.5 points this year — still well short of the playoffs but 4.5 points better than the Coyotes.
In all three projections, the Coyotes and Blackhawks are the two worst teams in the entire NHL — meaning this “division rivalry” will be focused on the 2023 NHL Draft Lottery as much as the on-ice product this season.
The Athletic actually had the Blackhawks’ ranked 30th out of the 32 teams, with Montreal sneaking into the top-two. Their projection dropped a couple weeks ago now, but it’s worth re-considering their 74-point prediction against the others above.