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Blackhawks goaltending a surprising strength to open 2023-24 season

The Blackhawks rank No. 8 in team save percentage through four games

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TORONTO — The Chicago Blackhawks are four games into the 2023-24 season, and the least of their worries has been the goaltending position.

Arvid Söderblom turned aside 34 of 35 shots for a save percentage of .971 in Monday's 4-1 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Arena, which included a stressful final four minutes with the extra attacker. He held down the fort and made some key stops throughout the contest.

"Sody tonight was remarkable, especially at the end of the game," Blackhawks head coach Luke Richardson said. "That's a dangerous team down low, big bodies. But he's a big body and he's very solid on the post. He came up really big for us. I'm glad we got the goal support for him to get the win."

Söderblom felt like it was one of his strongest outings in a Blackhawks uniform.

"It's hard to compare, every game is different, but this one was for sure up there," Soderblom said. "I felt great all through the game. It was definitely one of my best games."

Söderblom has given up only three goals on 67 shots for a save percentage of .955 in two games this season. His partner Petr Mrazek has been just as good with only five goals against on 77 shots for a save percentage of .935, which ranks seventh among goaltenders with at least two starts.

The Blackhawks, as a team, have a save percentage of .938, which ranks No. 8 in the NHL. Söderblom leads all goaltenders with a goals saved above expected of 6.6, per Money Puck. Mrazek is at 1.4.

I'm not sure how sustainable that will be over the course of the season, especially if the Blackhawks are going to be in the bottom half of high-quality scoring chances allowed, but they have a solid 1A-1B situation going and it's working out well right now.

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