CHICAGO — At the moment, things are going historically to plan for the Blackhawks as they approach the final week of their season.
That’s because their point total for 2022-2023 is close to the fewest in an 82-game campaign in franchise history.
With three games left to go, including Monday’s game against the Wild at the United Center, the Blackhawks have just 56 points, which would be the lowest ever in a season that’s lasted as long.
Their previous low was 59, which they had over 82 games in the 2003-2004 season, the last before a new overtime format was submitted. It eliminated ties, instituted the shootout, and gave teams that made it to the extra session an automatic point.
Even if the Blackhawks win out, 2022-2023 is guaranteed to be the second-worst for the team in an 82-game season since they have a maximum of six games to play. The 2005-2006 team finished with 65 points while last year’s Blackhawks finished with 68.
Their .354 point percentage would be the lowest in an 82-game season in franchise history, which is lower than what they had in the 2003-2004 campaign (.360).
Of course, this bit of infamy was all part of the plan, and it’s working quite well.
Entering the last four games of the season, the Blackhawks are tied for last in the NHL with the Columbus Blue Jackets. That gives them a shot to have the best odds for the top pick in the draft lottery and the chance to select coveted prospect Connor Bedard.
That was the intention of general manager Kyle Davidson going back to last year when he stripped down the NHL roster while also making a number of trades for draft picks and prospects.
Rebuilding the team’s system with young talent was needed – and so was this historically bad season.
After facing the Wild on Monday, the Blackhawks head to Pittsburgh on Tuesday to face the Penguins before wrapping up the regular season on Thursday at home against the Philadelphia Flyers at 7:30 p.m.