After a disappointing loss at home to the Minnesota Wild, the Chicago Blackhawks blew out the Wild with a 5-1 win, in Minnesota last night. The Blackhawks would like to make it 4 points in 2 nights, tonight with a win over the struggling Ottawa Senators.
The Senators may still be adjusting to life after Daniel Alfredsson, who left Ottawa, to sign with the Detroit Red Wings after 17 seasons, in a Senators uniform. Sitting in a dismal 6th place, in the Atlantic Division, the Sens have lost 3 of their last 4 games, and have scored only 4 goals, in the 3 losses. Without Alfredsson, the Senators are counting on production from tenured Senator, and first-time captain, Jason Spezza, as well as 2011-2012 Norris Trophy winner, Erik Karlsson.
The off-season acquisition of Bobby Ryan should eventually more than replace Alfredsson, since Ryan has many more years of production left in his career. In net, former Blackhawk, Craig Anderson is more than capable of holding his own, as long as he can find a way to stay healthy. The Senators have more than enough to be a threat in the Atlantic Division, but they have to hope these recent struggles are just growing pains.
The Blackhawks finally played a game that can be expected from a defending Stanley Cup Champion, last night, in Minnesota. The Hawks season has been as follows: 2 strong periods of hockey, followed by an atrocious 3rd period, resulting in overtime or a shootout. Luckily for the Hawks, a point is rewarded just for making it to overtime. Unfortunately for the Hawks, that isn’t a way to make a living, in the NHL, but those “loser points” may end up making a difference, when the season is all said and done.
Last nights dominating win, in Minnesota was highlighted by highlights, especially from Brandon Saad. Saad appears to be emerging as a legitimate top-6 forward that most NHL teams would love to have. Patrick Kane has continued his torrid start to the season, with 2 points, last night. It appears that the start in net is going to go to Corey Crawford, who will be starting on back-to-back nights, for the first time, this season.
The Senators need to get back on track, and a perfect way for them to do so, would be a win in Chicago, against the defending Stanley Cup Champions. The Hawks could be primed for defeat, after having played last night, but at the same time, they could be ready for a roll, as they just played their most complete, dominating performance, over a division rival. It should be a good game