The Chicago Blackhawks are in the middle of a road trip that has them going through Western Canada. That is always a really hard trip for NHL teams to get through as it is pretty far away from most teams and they are up against teams that expect to win at home.
They were absolutely destroyed by the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday. They kept it close in terms of the score until the third period when the Canucks pulled away. Despite keeping it close on the scoreboard, they were outshot 48 to 14 so the game was never as close as it seemed.
That brings us to Thursday night when they took on the Calgary Flames who are fighting hard for a postseason spot. Shockingly, they beat them down by a final score of 5-1 and they did it without Jonathan Toews who was missing because of a non-COVID-related illness.
Chicago really played as well as they could in this game. They were well positioned, made smart choices, and capitalized on their chances as well as you can in an NHL game. You don’t expect that from this Hawks team in a year like this but they really put it together here.
The Chicago Blackhawks were outstanding in their Thursday night win.
Their only blemish was a goal scored by Jonathan Huberdeau who has been one of the best NHL players over the last few years and he made a brilliant play. Outside of that, they were very good.
This was also the second career start for Jaxson Stauber who is now 2-0-0 in his NHL career with a 2.00 goals-against average and .940 save percentage. To say that he has been great for the Hawks would be an understatement.
Again, this isn’t very good for the tank but both the Arizona Coyotes and Anaheim Ducks won on Thursday as well so the Hawks only jumped the Columbus Blue Jackets. As we’ve seen with every NHL Draft Lottery, you kind of just have to let the cards fall where they may.
Jonathan Toews was out and they won. They went 3-0-0 without Patrick Kane in the lineup. It is a coincidence because those are amazing players but they are preparing for life without them so it is something to keep an eye on.
Now, the Hawks have the hardest test of the Western Canada trip ahead of them. On Saturday night, they will be taking on the Edmonton Oilers. Of course, the Oilers have the NHL’s two leading scorers in Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl and they make things hard for everyone.
This is sure to be a very fun game to watch but the Hawks need to match their intensity from the Calgary game if they want to avoid being completely embarrassed by the best 1-2 punch in the NHL.