Feb 11, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks right wing Marian Hossa (center) celebrates his goal during the third period at the United Center. The Vancouver Canucks defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 5-4 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
The Chicago Blackhawks will host one of their Western Conference rivals tonight on home ice. The Vancouver Canucks will come into town hot after defeating the St. Louis Blues & Nashville Predators. The Chicago Blackhawks are also coming off of two solid wins themselves beating the Winnipeg Jets & Los Angeles Kings in back-to-back games Sunday/Monday night. With a win tonight the Blackhawks would clinch their 7th consecutive playoff appearance if they defeat the Canucks in any fashion OR if they get one point AND both the Flames and Kings lose in any fashion OR either the Flames or Kings lose in regulation. In other words just win tonight Blackhawks and you’re in. Got it? Hopefully they can get the win and continue to gain momentum because the teams that end up getting hot now are usually the teams you see facing off in the final rounds.
The Vancouver Canucks will be playing to solidify their positioning in the playoffs and looking to sweep the Chicago Blackhawks in the final showdown of the season series. The first game of the series was back on Nov. 23 where the Canucks won in a lopsided contest 4-1. The last outing Feb. 11 was much closer and entertaining but the Blackhawks fell in overtime 5-4 on a Sedin goal. During their last 10 games the Vancouver Canucks have gone 7-2-1 and rank 2nd in the Pacific Division. The Blackhawks on a side note have gone 10-4-1 since the injury and loss of Patrick Kane. They may have had a few bumps along the way but they seem to win them when they need to the most. Something else to keep an eye on is that a loss tonight by the St. Louis Blues against the Calgary Flames and a win from the Blackhawks would send Chicago into the 2nd position in the Central Division and move the St. Louis Blues down into 3rd place.
The Chicago Blackhawks have found something in their man advantage play over the past 2 games notching a goal in each contest and have gone 2 for 5. If they are able to just capitalize on 1 goal each game that really can take some pressure off the goalies and add a nice spark in their play. Keep an eye on the development and hopefully it stays consistent. Two players to keep an eye on are Jonathan Toews who has 2 goals and 4 assists in his last 5 games while Andrew Shaw has tallied 4 goals and 1 assist over his last 5.
Do you think the Chicaogo Blackhawks will clinch their 7th consecutive playoff appearance tonight? Or will it have to wait? Feel free to leave your comments below!
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