Blackhawks face Blue Jackets
The Blackhawks (36-13-14) have had a day of rest after their game against the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday night, a 4-2 loss that left Coach and players disappointed. On Thursday evening, they’re facing the resilient Blue Jackets (32-25-5). The Blue Jackets are in the Wild Card position for now, and have been finding success with a core team of young, talented players. They’re on a 3-game win streak and will keep on pushing it further against the Blackhawks.
The Blackhawks have posted 2 losses and a win since the end of the Olympic break, and will be looking to settle back into their rhythm and consistence. They’ve consistently outshot their opponents in these three games, but they could not get the puck in the net enough on Tuesday night. The Avalanche are now 1 point behind the Blackhawks in the Central division.
The Blue Jackets are benefiting from the strong play of their Russian goaltender, Sergei Bobrovsky (2.52 GAA, .917 SV%) and their young offence, led by Ryan Johansen (24G, 24A), Brandon Dubinsky (12G, 26A), and James Wisniewski (5G, 32A). Along with Cam Atkinson (18G, 15A), Nick Foligno (16G, 18A), RJ Umberger (17G, 15A) and Artem Anisimov (18G, 14A), the team has a lot of offensive power that are producing points. Adding to the youth, the teams have got veteran Nathan Horton (4G, 9A) healthy again.
The Blackhawks have lost Marian Hossa for 2 to 3 weeks to injury, but young forward Brandon Saad has been bumped to the 1st line in Hossa’s spot, as always ready for the opportunity. Despite having slowed his production since the Olympic break, Patrick Kane (27G, 37A) still leads the team in points, followed closely by Patrick Sharp (29G, 32A), Jonathan Toews (22G, 37A), and Marian Hossa (24G, 26A). Since the Olympic break, Corey Crawford (2.33 GAA, .916 SV%) has been in front of the net for the Hawks.
The Blue Jackets have been able to efficiently smother the Hawks’ offense in the past, but they haven’t won a game against Chicago since 2011.
Game time is 8.00 p.m. ET and can be seen live on FS-O and CSN-CH.