Blackhawks face off against San Jose

After a tight 2-1 victory over the Rangers on Thursday night, the Blackhawks will face off against San Jose in a matinee showing to cap off their annual road trip with their dads.

 

The San Jose Sharks are in a bad place right now, both in the standings and off the ice. While they’ve won their last two games, they’re still three points out of a playoff spot behind Winnipeg and Los Angeles, who holds the last wild card spot. Add on top of that a disagreement because former-captain Joe Thornton and GM Doug Wilson. The two are having a public spat about how the captaincy was taken from Thornton last year, and it’s adding a Toronto-esque drama to a team who’s playoff window is closing fast. 

 

Meanwhile the Blackhawks are still sitting in third place in the Central but have continued to struggle with consistency since December. The team hasn’t won three games straight in the new year, and the loss of Patrick Kane has certainly hurt the team’s offense. Patrick Sharp hasn’t scored in his last 19 games, and has just a single assist in his last 15. Brad Richards broke his scoring slump against the Rangers on Thursday for his 900th career point, but his offense has dried up as well as of late. The Blackhawks will need to count on all four lines scoring to hope to beat the Sharks.

 

The good news is that the Blackhawks received some reinforcements on Thursday with the return of defensemen Johnny Oduya to the lineup. In other news, Trevor van Riemsdyk, who’s been out since November, could return to play with the Icehogs on Saturday. After being reassigned to the minors for a conditioning assignment, it’s likely the defensemen will get a few games back in Chicago before the playoffs start. 

 

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