Wednesday is one of those highly important Central division showdown games: second-place St. Louis (16-6-2) visits third-place Chicago (15-8-1). The two teams last faced each other on October 25th at the Scottrade Center.
The Blues have been very good on the road, going 7-3-1 thus far this season. Here's the quirk: they're managing a measly 2.18 G/G on the road, versus 3.00 G/G at home. It's worth keeping an eye on young Vladmir Tarasenko of the Blues, who's evolving into a dynamic scorer (14G, 12A in 24 games) and a possession leader on a team that hasn't historically been known for its offensive punch.
The Chicago Blackhawks (11-7-1) continue their circus trip with a game at the Oilers tonight in Edmonton.
This season, the Oilers are languishing at the bottom of the Pacific division with a 6-11-2 record. They're having problems scoring, and more importantly, they're having problems keeping the other teams' goals out of their net: they have 3.37 GAA versus 2.53 G/G. Their power play is more like a power pffft and their penalty kill is below 80%. The Oilers have won just 2 of 10 games they've played to date in November, and they're hungry for a win - or even just points. Edmonton is 0-9-1 versus the Western Conference so far this season.
The last time that the Blackhawks and the Stars played, it was opening night in Dallas - a 3-2 shootout win for Chicago on October 9th.
It was also one of the rare games where the opponent outshot the Blackhawks this season.
Both teams currently sit just outside the wild card cutoff, with Chicago (19) a few points ahead of the Stars (16) in the surprising Central Division. We'll say surprising mostly for two reasons: 1) even with Pekka Rinne's healthy return and a new coach behind the bench, nobody expected Nashville to be doing this well so early in the season; and 2) nobody expected Winnipeg to be sitting at 3rd in the Central, ahead of Chicago, Dallas, and...
The Blackhawks came into this game on a mission to get second scoring chances and to crash the net and they most certainly did.
Chicago beat the Philadelphia Flyers 4-0 on Tuesday in what might have been the most complete game the Hawks played this season. It was a solid team victory.
The Hawks also went with different lines than they had in the past and again Joel Quenneville demonstrated his knack of having his pulse on this team and knowing how to get the best from his players and utilizing their strenghths to spark his team.
The game also saw the return of Kris Versteeg to the line-up. Versteeg however was not on the third line but was opposite his old b...
In their last meeting of the regular season, both the Blackhawks and Avalanche came out flying.
Duncan Keith had the first penalty of the game, a roughing call in front of the Blackhawks' net. The Avalanche put plenty of pressure in Chicago's end, but despite a handful of shots, the closest they got was a goalpost.
Brad Malone put the Avalanche on the board first with 1:36 left in the first, with a sharp-angle shot. Matt Duchene would stretch the lead to 2-0 just 19 seconds into the second period.
Patrick Kane would get the Blackhawks on the board after dancing through the Colorado zone and flipping the puck over Varlamov's shoulder to make it ...
The Hawks continued a disturbing trend of taking games to OT and not being able to collect the extra point as they fell to the Calgary Flames in overtime to kick off a 6-game road trip. Both starting goalies were pulled as the points racked up, but the Flames would ultimately emerge victorious as the Hawks dropped their fourth game in a row.
The Flames would get on the board early with a backhan...
The honeymoon is officially over for the Chicago Blackhawks.
It was great while it lasted, but gone are the days when the Hawks could score 6 goals or more every night, as they did in three straight games in December. As Chicago approaches the Olympic break just over halfway through the season, they’re starting to look like a mediocre hockey club at best. A delayed Stanley Cup hangover apparently has struck, and created problems that have been made particularly apparent in January:
In their second game in two nights, the Hawks bounced back from a tough 2-1 OT loss against Montreal to win their third game against the Oilers to sweet the season series 5-3. Antti Raanta made 18 saves to improve to 12-1-3, and the Hawks scored five goals on 41 shots, including a power play goal.
The Oilers, fresh off a come-from-behind victory against the Penguins, played well in the beginning...
The Hawks (29-7-9) face off against the Rangers (21-20-3) for the first time this season, a day after the much anticipated announcement of the Canadian Olympic team. Jonathan Toews, Patrick Sharp, and Duncan Keith will represent Team Canada from the Hawks. Chicago will be sending league-leading 10 skaters to Sochi (Detroit and St. Louis are also sending 10 players), while the Rangers will see seven skaters compete for their countries.