Jan 16, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; A Chicago Blackhawks ice crew member during the third period against the Winnipeg Jets at the United Center. Winnipeg won 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Win one, lose one, win one, lose one, rinse and repeat. That has been the story of the Chicago Blackhawks in the calendar year of 2015. Tonight, the Hawks will try to rediscover their winning consistency in tonight’s matchup with the Dallas Stars at the United Center.
This will be the 4th meeting of the 5-game season series between the Hawks and Stars. So far, consistency has been the story, as the Hawks have won all three previous matchups with their Central Divisional foes from Texas. Puck drop is oddly set for 5:00 PM Central Time. Tonight’s game can be seen on WGN-Chicago and can be heard on WGN 720 AM.
Here’s a statistical breakdown of the Hawks and Stars.
[table id=115 /]
Offensively, the Hawks have been very good, overall this season, and will face a Dallas defense that has been one of the worst. Defensively, the Hawks have been elite and will face an also elite Stars’ offensive attack.
On the Power Play, the Hawks have been average overall, but will be facing a not-so-great Stars’ Penalty Kill. The Hawks Penalty Kill has been the best in the league, and tonight they will face a very poor Dallas Power Play.
In the faceoff circle, the Hawks have been very good and tonight they will be taking draws against a Stars team that has been solid in the dot. In terms of puck-possession, the Hawks are elite and will be fighting for the puck with a Dallas squad that is roughly average at controlling the puck.
Cleary, the Hawks have a big advantage here, and it’s no secret how they’ve managed to be a perfect 3-0 against the Stars, this season. However, the Hawks haven’t been the Hawks lately, so this could be interesting. Dallas played just last night, and they were able to defeat a very good Washington Capitals team. Hopefully the Hawks can take advantage of the fact that they are more rested than the Stars, but that doesn’t always happen, as evidenced by Friday’s loss to the Winnipeg Jets.
The Stars are 20-17-7 with 47 points, this season, which has them currently sitting in 6th place in the Central Division. When it comes to Dallas, it’s all about Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin. Benn was struggling in terms of offensive production this season, but he quietly has 36 points, in 43 games this season. Seguin has been an absolute goal-scoring machine, this season, as he has put up 26 of them, this season. Jason Spezza was off to a slow start in his first season in a Stars uniform, but has slowly started to put up numbers, as he has 5 points in his last 5 games.
In net for the Stars will either be regular starter Kari Lehtonen, who played against Washington last night, or backup Anders Lindback. Neither net-minder has fared particuarly well this season. Lehtonen has a .904 Save Percentage in 36 games and Lindback has a .875 Save Percentage in 9 games played.
The Blackhawks will be looking for the same effort with a different result from the effort they gave Friday night. Bryan Bickell and Teuvo Teravainen both stood out in the Hawks loss to the Jets so it would be nice for these two role players to carry over the effort to Sunday evening’s game.
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The action all starts tonight at 5pm so let’s hope the Hawks hit the Stars early and often with some goals and put this game to bed early! What is your expectations for tonight’s game?
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