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Blackhawks' fortunes turn sharply when team scores 3-plus goals

Turns out the Blackhawks are pretty much unstoppable ... as long as they score at least three goals.

Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Browsing Twitter this morning like I usually do, I got into a brief discussion with NHL.com (and former SBN) writer Evan Sporer on team's records based on goal totals. I pointed him in the direction of the ever-useful Play Index over at Hockey Reference, then realized the discussion had piqued my interest in how the Blackhawks might be faring.

So with a hearty hat tip to Evan for bringing up the idea, I thought I'd use Play Index to look at how goal totals impact the Blackhawks' win-loss record. The results ... well, the results show a pattern:

Goals Scored Record
0 0-4-0
1 0-3-1
2 3-8-1
3 7-2-0
4 10-0-0
5 7-0-0
6 3-0-0
7 1-0-0

Seems significant, right?

When the Blackhawks score two or fewer goals this season, they have a 3-15-2 record. When they score three or more goals, they're 28-2-0. I know it goes without saying that scoring more goals is better, but this seems to underscore how important a functioning offense is to Chicago's success.

The Blackhawks have won a ton of close games this year, but they were practically all high-scoring games. When the team gets mired in a slower-paced game where neither offense is playing as well, it's had a lot tougher time cranking out wins. The early momentum that comes from scoring clearly gives this team some kind of boost.

What does all this mean for the Blackhawks going forward? It's hard to say, especially without a direct comparison to other teams across the league. But the benchmark for a winning effort seems to be clear at this point -- it's pretty much three goals or bust.