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Checking in on the bottom of the NHL standings

You know why we’re here.

Syndication: Notre Dame Insider John Mersits / USA TODAY NETWORK

Remember when the Chicago Blackhawks started this season 4-2, throwing a wrench in The Plan™ for the 2022-23 NHL season?

Things have not gone quite as well since then — or they’ve gone exactly as planned, depending on the perspective.

With eight points in the first six games, Chicago was third in the Central Division, fifth in the Western Conference and 12th in the overall league standings.

After a 2-7-3 stretch, though, the Blackhawks have plummeted. Here’s a quick run through how things down in the league’s dungeon:

(Overall rankings based on points percentage)

Blackhawks, 26th (tied)

15 points (6-9-3) in 18 games, .417 points percentage (P%)

It will be interesting to see what happens with this team when Seth Jones returns.

Columbus Blue Jackets, 26th (tied)

15 points (7-10-1) in 18 games, .417 P%

After nabbing Johnny Hockey in the offseason, Columbus seemed like a team on an upward trajectory. Now? The headline (and photo) from this article by our friends over at The Cannon summarize it all rather well.

Arizona Coyotes, 28th

13 points (6-9-1) in 16 games, .406 P%

Chicago and Arizona will play against each other three times in a six-week stretch starting on Jan. 6 in Chicago. Feels like three decisive games on these standings.

Buffalo Sabres, 29th

14 points (7-11-0) in 18 games, .389 P%

Buffalo sunk in the standings harder and faster than the Hawks did: after a 7-3 start, the Sabres have dropped eight straight games. It does seem like there’s enough young talent on the roster for Buffalo to make a run in the other direction soon, though.

Ottawa Senators, 30th

13 points (6-10-1) in 17 games, .382 P%

How much longer before questions start to emerge about whether or not a certain offseason acquisition by this team decides that Ottawa is not the place for his long-term plans? Asking for a friend.

San Jose Sharks, 31st

15 points (6-11-3) in 20 games, .375 P%

The primary reason why San Jose is not at the bottom here is Erik Karlsson, who has 28 points (11 G, 17 A) in 20 games. Karlsson, who’s 32, has only been a point-per-game player once in his career — and that was seven years ago. If that pace falters ... look out.

Anaheim Ducks, 32nd

11 points (5-12-1) in 18 games, .306 P%

Anaheim’s collective goalie statistics for this season have a save percentage under .900 (.890) and a goals-against average over four (4.13). Yikes!

Just remember one thing:

It’s an 82-game season, folks. Regardless of your feeling on where the Blackhawks sit at this moment, we’re not even to the quarter pole of this NHL season. Plenty of time for things to change, as thread from about one month ago detailed:

In just over 30 games, the Hawks dropped 12 spots in the standings. They have 64 left to play this season.