Jan 11, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews (19) hits the crossbar as Minnesota Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom (32) watches during the first period at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
After dropping a hard fought game 2-1 Sunday against the St. Louis Blues the Chicago Blackhawks will look to finish strong before the playoffs start on April 15. The Central Division has still not been decided and it looks like it will go down to the wire with the Chicago Blackhawks playing 3 Central Division opponents. The last home game is tonight against the Minnesota Wild who are hoping to keep their playoff chances alive. Then the Blackhawks will hit the road for another St. Louis Blues battle on Thursday, April 9th. Following that game they will then head to Colorado to face the Avalanche for their final tune up before the playoffs begin. Lets take a look at these next three teams/games.
The Chicago Blackhawks have won 3 out of the 4 contest against the Minnesota Wild so far this season and will be looking to get another win in the season series battle. The Minnesota Wild were one of the hottest teams in the past couple of weeks gaining enough momentum to briefly take over the 3 spot in the Central Division. The Wild were just on a 5 game win streak but have since lost some momentum and are on a 3 game losing streak going into the game against the Blackhawks. The Chicago Blackhawks were also on a streak themselves winning 4 in a row before losing to the St. Louis Blues. So both teams will be battling to get back into the win column to gain a much needed 2 points in the race for some of the last points possible.
The Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues have each won 2 games a piece and will be looking for the third win to claim victory as the season series winner. The winner of this game also will probably be the winner of the home ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs, assuming they were to meet. I have a feeling this season will go until the last games are completed so it should get interesting. If you haven’t been able to tell the last several games have been played with playoff intensity and playoff positioning up for grabs. The Predators and Blues continue to flip flop 1st and 2nd and the Blues are on a 3 game win streak after defeating the Blackhawks.
One of the last teams you would have expected to finish more than 20 points out of first place and in last place within the division is last years Central Division winners, the Colorado Avalanche. Injuries have plagued them and they could never seem to get on a consistent track. Despite their record they continued to play the Blackhawks well and each team has recorded 2 wins during the season series. The Blackhawks will definitely be looking to close the season with a final win on the road in preparation for what lies ahead in the 2015 NHL Playoffs. On the other hand the Colorado Avalanche will be looking to spoil whatever they can against a Central Division rival hoping to close the season on somewhat of a good note.
What do you think about the final 3 games ahead? Do you think the Chicago Blackhawks can finish strong before the playoffs?
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