The Chicago Blackhawks are finally back from their long bye week and All-Star break and they face an Arizona Coyotes team in the desert.
The Chicago Blackhawks are in for a bumpy ride to the finish line this season. That is not at all because they don’t have a chance, it is just because they have to win a majority of their games to get into the playoffs. They are still a little bit behind in the Western Conference playoff race and need to make up some ground. With how tough things were early on, you can claim they are in a good spot.
The good news is they didn’t really lose much ground while they were not playing games because of the break either. The Arizona Coyotes lost in overtime on Thursday night so they earned one point. Arizona holds that final Wild Card spot so getting one point put them four games ahead of the Hawks. They went into the break only three points out and are now four out. Losing one point of ground without playing any games in over a week is great news.
They also have two games in hand on the Coyotes as well. The Blackhawks are in good shape as long as they play well down the stretch. Their own fate is in their hands. It begins with the team who’s playoff spot they are directly looking at. The Arizona Coyotes are in a bit of a free fall right now so the Blackhawks need to take advantage.
The Coyotes made a huge splash earlier this season when they acquired former Hart Trophy winner Taylor Hall from the New Jersey Devils. Since acquiring Hall, they are 7-9-2 which is less than ideal. Hall hasn’t been at an MVP level this season and now it is the Coyotes problem. They were in first place when they acquired Hall and now they are hanging onto their playoff spot by a thread. There have been injuries as well so the Blackhawks just need to play their game to have a chance.
The Blackhawks need to just rely on their own identity to win and they will. They are capable of scoring goals so if Robin Lehner and Corey Crawford protect the net like we know they can then they will win games. February is not an easy month as it is mostly going to be played on the road so by the end of the month we should know a lot about their chances.