January 29, 2014

Duncan Keith: Fancy Passing But No Passing Fancy

Chicago defenseman Duncan Keith has had a fantastic season. He very possibly will win his second Norris trophy as the best defenseman in hockey. While that is supposed to be determined strictly on NHL regular season performance, I suspect Keith's play in the upcoming Olympics will set him apart from the likes of P.K. Subban and Shea Weber.

While Keith's season is nothing short of impressive, this note from the Elias Sports Bureau absolutely wowed me:

Duncan Keith is the fastest Blackhawk in franchise history to reach 40 assists in a single season (46 games played).

Can that be true?

Keith is currently on pace to score 5 goals and 67 assists for 72 in 81 games. Six times in Chicago's hockey history has a player registered 67 assists. Stan Mikita did it first back in 1968-69. In the 1980s Denis Savard scored at least 67 points no fewer than five times - including seasons of 86, 87 and 87 assists.

Is it possible that in three seasons that Savard averaged more than 1 assist per game for the entire season that he did not reach the 40 assist mark until sometime after the 46 game mark?

Duncan Keith's season is impressive. And the Elias Sports Bureau's research is always amazing. But I immediately wondered about this one.


Ashman said...

Yeah, I find that hard to believe. Savard must have done that, and maybe twice.

Unknown said...

I did a quick check on Savard's 1986-87 gamelog on Hockey Reference. He had his 40th assist in his 30th game that year.