Blackhawks News

Game Preview: Chicago Blackhawks Looking to Start New Streak Against Calgary Flames

By Brian Kinkade

Nov 3, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Calgary Flames goalie Reto Berra (29) makes a save as Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews (19) waits for a rebound during the first period at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

It couldn’t last forever, but that winning streak was nice while it lasted.  After last night’s loss, the Chicago Blackhawks get right back to it, at home, as they look to start a new streak that begins with the Calgary Flames, tonight.

This will be the third and final game of the three game season series between the Hawks and Flames.  So far, it is a 1-1 split for both teams, in this season’s series.  You can catch tonight’s rubber-match on CSN-Chicago and you can listen to it on WGN 720 AM.

Here’s a statistical breakdown of the Hawks and Flames.

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The Hawks offense has been borderline elite, this season, and will be up against the average defense of the Flames.  Defensively, The Hawks have been nothing short of elite and will be up against a very potent Flames offensive attack.

On the Power Play, the Hawks have been pretty poor, but they will be up against the Flames’ inferior Penalty Kill.  For the Hawks’ league best Penalty Kill, they will be tasked with shutting down Calgary’s very solid Power Play.

In the faceoff circle, the Hawks are one of the better teams in the league and will be taking draws against the Flames’ 2nd-worst in the league faceoff team.  When it comes to positive puck possession, the Hawks are at the top of the NHL, while the Flames are near the bottom.

The Advantage in this one has to go to the Hawks.  While the Flames are showing flashes of what their young foundation can do, they are also relying on quite a bit of luck.  Any team that controls the puck as little as the Flames do will eventually find themselves losing more games than they are winning.  However, once these young Flames put everything together, they will be a dangerous team for a long time.

The Flames are currently in 4th place in the Pacific Division with a record of 17-12-2, which is good for 36 points on the season.  Calgary is in the midst of a 4-game losing streak, so this might be the first sign of them coming back to Earth after a hot start to the season.  Defenseman, captain and veteran leader, Mark Giordanoleads the Flames in points with 30 in 31 games played.  Fellow veteran, Juri Hudler is having one of his best seasons, thus far, and has 28 points.  The “future” of the Flames, young forwards, Sean Monnhan and Johnny Gaudreu are having fine seasons, while they learn the NHL on the fly.

In net will either be Kari Ramo or Jonas Hiller for the Flames.  Ramo has been less-than-stellar with a .911 Save Percentage and Hiller has only been marginally better with a .912 Save Percentage.

The Hawks are now in 2nd place in the Central Division, one point behind the St. Louis Blues and one point ahead of the 3rd place Nashville Predators.  Patrick Kane now has a stranglehold on the team-lead in points, with 28 in 30 games.  Brandon Saad recorded a point last night and is getting closer to being more consistent of a scorer.  After the trade of Jeremy Morin to the Columbus Blue Jackets for defenseman, Tim Erixonthe Hawks acquired what could possibly be a boost to their stagnant, in Erixon.

In net for the Hawks will be Antti Raanta.  Raanta has been very good with a .942 Save Percentage in only 5 games played this season.

It will be nice for the Hawks to be back home again.  Home-ice, the numbers, the ending of the winning streak, and the struggling Flames should be more than enough for the Hawks to get back in the win column.

Go Hawks!