The Chicago Blackhawks are going on a three-game road trip north of the border and it kicks off against the Ottawa Senators.
The Chicago Blackhawks have a lot of work to do if they are going to be in the playoff picture by this time in two months. It may be a longshot, but they have the horses that have proven they can do it. They also have solid goaltending behind a decent mix of youth and veterans. It is a team with a chance to do something special in the second half, but it is up to them to do so.
It starts with a three-game swing north of the border. It begins in the nation’s capital of Ottawa against the Ottawa Senators. They are a team that has played slightly above their expectations but are still in the early phases of a rebuild. They have a lot of good young players that play hard but their time to be a playoff contender is still a few years away. This is a team that was a goal away from reaching the Stanley Cup final in 2017 but since then it has all come crashing down.
They have some great young players like Brady Tkachuk, Thomas Chabot, and Anthony Duclair leading the way but some good players like Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Connor Brown, and Chris Tierney provide some depth for them as well. The really young guys are still a year or two away from taking that next big step but things are coming along in Ottawa after a point of looking like they had an extremely bleak future.
The Blackhawks currently sit at 20-20-6 which is good for dead last in the Central Division. They are still only nine points out of a playoff position but they still have four other teams to jump to get there. They need their top guns going in order to do so. They have seen Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews have good seasons yet again, but they need the depth players like Alex DeBrincat, Dylan Strome, and the currently injured Brandon Saad to step up and provide extra scoring on a regular basis. They also have Dominik Kubalik playing well so taking advantage of that is important.
With good goaltending from Corey Crawford and Robin Lehner, this is all possible. Each of the three Canadian games gets harder as they move along. The Montreal Canadiens are better than Ottawa and the Toronto Maple Leafs are better than Montreal. Getting a win against the Senators could propel them into that Montreal game feeling good about themselves. The road to a comeback begins now.