The Chicago Blackhawks are about to start their annual circus trip which has been the time in recent years that the team has finally realized that the NHL season had started, meaning it’s the time when they start playing some solid hockey, picking up wins and moving up the standings in the Central Division.
This year is unlike years in the past. The Chicago Blackhawks are right in the middle of the pack in the Western Conference with a 10-7-1 record, and they need to start making their move up the standings. The players will always say that this is the time when they all start bonding with two weeks on the road, and of course a Las Vegas trip to break up their time away from home.
The Blackhawks have put some pretty good numbers over the last few seasons while playing out West in November, so here is a look at some of those numbers in preparation of the six-game stretch away from the United Center.
In the last two seasons, the Chicago Blackhawks have only lost twice on their circus trips, which really has been a springboard for a whole lot of wins in December. They actually are 25-10-2 on their circus trips during the Joel Quenneville or Jonathan Toews/Patrick Kane era. They seem to really gel during this road trip and start playing very good hockey. They have a chance to kick off the road trip on the right foot when they start it all off with the Edmonton Oilers minus Connor McDavid. The Blackhawks’ wins have come in bunches on the road, and it’s something they need to have happen once again this season.
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It’s not just wins that the Chicago Blackhawks chalk up on the road during their circus trip, but they also outscore their opponents by a lot during the circus trip. The Chicago Blackhawks have outscored their opponents on the West Coast 125-92 during their circus trips under Quenneville. So even though they have had little balance and have struggled scoring so far this season, when they arrive on the left coast in November the Chicago Blackhawks typically begin putting puck after puck in the back of the net. Kane and Artemi Panarin have scored with ease this season, but now it’s time for some cohesiveness on offense from all four lines, and there’s no better time than on the road to pick up goals.
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This isn’t a statistic, but a great memory. When Marian Hossa joined the team in 2009, he was initially injured and his season didn’t begin until the circus trip. So on the night before Thanksgiving in 2009, Hossa took to the ice and helped lead the Blackhawks to an easy win over the San Jose Sharks, which included three short handed goals.
What do you expect from the Chicago Blackhawks on this year’s circus trip? Let us know in the comments.