The Chicago Blackhawks have been one of the worst teams in the NHL over the course of this season. They have won one game out of their last ten and are now 7-13-4 on the season.
That is good for 18 standings points which is good for 31st out of 32 in the league. Only the Anaheim Ducks have fewer points.
Surprisingly, the Hawks went 1-1 over the weekend in New York. They found a way to beat the New York Rangers by a final score of 5-2.
A night later, the New York Islanders absolutely destroyed the Blackhawks. The final score was only 3-0 but Arvid Soderblom kept them in the game even though they were outshot 40-21. The Hawks showed how bad of a hockey team they were in that game.
The Chicago Blackhawks have a very big test ahead of them on Tuesday.
Now, they have to play against the team near the top of the NHL standings in the New Jersey Devils. That is a team that is fast, skilled, and extremely smart. At 20-4-1, they are tied for the league lead the league with 41 standings points.
This is a team that is mostly led by their top three forwards. Jack Hughes, Jesper Bratt, and Nico Hischier are all above point-per-game which has helped New Jersey rank near the top of goal-scoring.
Their top defensive pair of Dougie Hamilton and Jonas Seigenthaler leads a very good group of blueliners. Behind them, is some really good goaltending from Vitek Vanecek and Akira Schmid so the Hawks would really need to bring their best in order to win the game.
In order to match New Jersey’s game, you need to match their speed and intensity which is very hard to do. When they get a power play, the big three go to work and it is very difficult to contain. It is just as fast at even strength too which is going to be an issue.
Guys like Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane know what it is like to play against a team like New Jersey because they used to play on a team just like New Jersey. Hischier’s game resembles that of Toews and Hughes’s game is pretty similar to Kane’s from the middle of the ice.
Regardless of the result, you can probably expect a very entertaining game between the two teams and there are going to be some goals scored. If the Hawks aren’t smart, however, this is the type of team that can make it ugly quickly.