Blackhawks News

With a Win Tomorrow Night, Blackhawks Can Keep Blues Down in Standings

By Ericka McFee

Apr 27, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks left wing Patrick Sharp (10) scores past St. Louis Blues goalie Ryan Miller (39) with defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk (22) pursuing during the third period in game six of the first round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the United Center. Chicago won 5-1 to take the series 4 games to 1. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

With a Win Tomorrow Night, Blackhawks Can Keep Blues Down in Standings

After a disappointing loss on the road against the Nashville Predators last night, the Blackhawks face another tough Central Division rival on the road when they head over to battle the St. Louis Blues tomorrow night.

Hawks fans will pleasantly recall the first round of last season’s Stanley Cup run. After a difficult regular-season series and being down 2-0 early in the playoffs, our boys staged a somewhat miraculous comeback, winning the next 4 games to take the series. Not to mention escorting one of our most bitter rivals to an early playoff exit.

The Hawks will look for a bit of redemption after dropping a game to the Preds, while the Blues will be seeking revenge for their unceremonious playoff exit last April. To call it a “grudge match” might very well be an understatement.

For their part, the Blues are also hoping to save some face for the way they have started out the current season. With a 2-3-1 record, the Blues currently sit at the 5th spot in the Central Division, 10th in the Western Conference, and 24th in the leauge.

While it is still very early in the season – it’s still October, and there are at least another 76 games left – slow starts are tough to overcome. It’s true that reversals of fortune happen all the time in the league. Hawks were at the top of the league for most of last season, but a rough January and post-Olympics slump saw them slip a few notches. The Boston Bruins were ranked second for a while, slipped to roughly the middle of the standings, then shot back up after a crazy late-season win streak.

Yet this early test between two heated rivals and perennial playoff contenders is still a very important one. The Blackhawks will need to find that grove they had found when they played against the Philadelphia Flyers earlier in the week to ensure that they can keep the Blues down in the standings. Not that they couldn’t dispatch the Blues if they faced each other again in this season’s playoffs, but why burn so much energy early on if you don’t have to – i.e., if the Blues didn’t make it to the playoffs in the first place.

Looking at the way this season has gone so far, it could happen. But the Hawks will have to play much better than they did against the Preds to have a hand in that outcome.

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