The Chicago Blackhawks are now into February that has the team on the road for most of the month. It is a big challenge ahead to stay in it.
The Chicago Blackhawks and the rest of the NHL go through swings. The Blackhawks are in the middle of a swing that has them at 6-2-2 in their last ten games. Picking up 14 points out of 20 is good and it still has barely got them close to a playoff spot. There are four or five teams that are clawing at those two Wild Card spots in the Western Conference.
It is a bit tough February as it a road-heavy month. The NBA All-Star game is rolling through the United Center which is a part of the reason it is a road-heavy month for the Hawks. They have already played three games this month. They beat the Arizona Coyotes in Arizona and they were defeated in overtime by the Minnesota Wild in St. Paul. Then their one home game so far this month was an overtime loss to the Boston Bruins.
There are elven more games left in February. Only two of them are at the United Center. The New York Rangers and Nashville Predators visit Chicago later in the month. Other than those two games, Chicago will make two trips to Winnipeg. There are also trips to Edmonton, Vancouver, Calgary, Dallas, St. Louis, and both Florida teams (Tampa Bay and Sunrise). It is a daunting month as literally every single one of those road games is against teams with playoff aspirations.
The key to making the playoffs in sports is being good at home and on the road. If they make it through this month with a winning record and a chance at the playoffs, the payout is a very home heavy March. Out of 15 games in the month of March, 11 of them are at the United Center. The trade deadline is on February 24th, so by the time we get to March, we should have a solid grasp of the Blackhawks’ intentions.
The rest of this road-heavy month has to wait until Sunday. The Winnipeg Jets are getting ready to host Chicago in a massive game against two teams right there on the playoff bubble. That is the first of five straight on the road and they are all in Canada. This is a perfect opportunity for Chicago to gain some more steam as a group.