The rollercoaster continues
The Hawks came out and played themselves a solid game vs. the Ducks on Saturday.
The result was a 4-2 win led by a 2-goal performance by NHL leading goal scorer Dominik Kubalik, as well as a solid effort by Lehner.
Kubalik's 16 goals tie him with Victor Olofsson and he could maybe have more if it weren't for the occasional healthy scratches and the reluctance by Colliton to play him in the top 6.
So, we're riding the high again after a win and now the Hawks head my way for a 3-game road trip through Ottawa, Montreal, and Toronto.
Whether you believe the Hawks are going to get on a run and start racking up points or whether you think this is just another small blip of success in an otherwise terrible season, there are some key dates I wanted to toss your way.
"We need to win 2 out of 3 games moving forward" is the mantra from Colliton, Lehner, and Co. and moving forward.
Here is what the Hawks are staring at as we near the All-Star Game, Trade Deadline and a busy February for the Blackhawks:
January 24th–26th – NHL All-Star Weekend
January 22nd–31st – Blackhawks All-Star Break
February 5th, 19th, 21st – ONLY Home Games in the month
February 24th – NHL Trade Deadline
April 4th – Last day of the NHL regular season
With 11 road games and 3 home games in February – that's actually not the worst thing.
Chicago is 11-11-3 at home and 9-9-3 on the road. The key difference is the Hawks are – for some reason – their special teams are better on the road:
HOME: 8.9% PP / 82.2% PK
AWAY: 12.5% PP / 88.9% PK
Stan Bowman has 16 games from now until the February 24th trade deadline.
If the Hawks want to give him a reason to believe that this is a team capable of making the playoffs, what record would they need for him to, maybe not be a buyer, but at least eliminate them from being a seller?
If the 2 out of every 3 is truly the goal, let's say they go 10-4-2. Is this possible? Let's see who the opponents are during this stretch:
Hmm… I would say that it's doable but I truly have no idea, which Blackhawks team will show up on a nightly basis.
And if they don't perform close to this level, my recommendation would be to sell, sell, sell. Well, I don't know how much "selling" they can actually do, but there are some pieces there to move.
Until then, the rollercoaster continues.
John Quenneville was sent back to Rockford on Saturday.
Unless there is some amazing news the Dylan Strome is almost healthy enough to return, I expect another call up from Rockford for their 3-day road trip.
Brandon Hagel has been playing strong lately and would be my pick.
I would also like to see Dylan Sikura get another opportunity to get back into the lineup.
Lastly, here's something to get excited about:
Ian Mitchell will be a welcomed addition to the Blackhawks blueline. Yes, I do believe he signs in Chicago as soon as his season is over in Denver.
That's all I have for now.
See ya out there!