The Chicago Blackhawks wrapped up their circus trip with an impressive 6-1 record. On the trip, the Blackhawks defeated the Winnipeg Jets, Vancouver Canucks, Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames, Dallas Stars ,and Phoenix Coyotes. Their lone loss came at the hands of the Colorado Avalanche. With the Blackhawks returning to the United Center for the first time since Nov 17th; they are taking on a familiar opponent in the Dallas Stars.
The Blackhawks have defeated the Dallas Stars twice this season, both times in Dallas. This will be the first trip to the United Center for the Stars. In their previous two meetings the Blackhawks have dominated the Stars.
Here are three reasons why the Blackhawks have dominated the Stars:
1. The Blackhawks talent has outshined the Stars: The Stars have marquee names such as Tyler Seguin, Jamie Benn, and Rich Peverley. In two games, the Stars marquee players recorded two goals and one assists between the three of them. The Blackhawks have marquee names such as Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa, and Patrick Sharp. Between those four players the Blackhawks had five goals and four assists. On the season the Stars have scored 70 goals which are good for 19th in the NHL. The Blackhawks have scored 102 goals which are good 1st in the NHL. Its simple our best players are better than their best players.
2. The Blackhawks have more depth than the Stars: The Blackhawks boast one of the deepest teams in the NHL; this gives Coach Quenneville the ability to roll four lines. In the first meeting the Blackhawks top talent carried them to a victory over the Stars. In the second meeting the Blackhawks defeated the Stars because of their depth. Patrick Sharp a top six forward scored the lone regulation goal for the Blackhawks. The second game then went to an eleven round shootout in which Ben Smith, a fourth line player, scored the winning goal. The fourth line of the Blackhawks has been the only line that Coach Quenneville has not altered all season.
3. The Blackhawks special teams are better than the Stars special teams: The Blackhawks took 12 minutes worth of penalties in the first meeting with the Stars. The Stars scored zero power-play goals in 12 minutes. The Blackhawks squashed out any scoring chances for the Stars with their penalty kill. The Stars meanwhile committed four minutes worth of penalties in their first meeting. Patrick Kane would make the Stars pay by netting a power-play goal in their first meeting. In their second meeting the Blackhawks had six minutes of penalties in which the Stars did not score. The Stars recorded four minutes of penalties, but the Blackhawks could not convert. In two games the Stars were given 16 minutes on the power-play and did not score one goal. While the Blackhawks had 8 minutes of power-play time and netted one goal. For the season the Blackhawks have scored 18 power-play goals which one above the league average of 17. The Stars have 9 power-play goals which are 8 below the league average.
Those are my three reasons why the Blackhawks have dominated the Stars this season. The Blackhawks take on the Stars at the United Center at 7pm on Tuesday.