Analysis

Chicago Blackhawks Must Take Advantage Of Favorable Schedule

By Colin Likas
Dec 27, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks left wing Artemi Panarin (72) and Winnipeg Jets center Adam Lowry (17) go for the puck during the first period at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 27, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks left wing Artemi Panarin (72) and Winnipeg Jets center Adam Lowry (17) go for the puck during the first period at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports /
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Boston Bruins

We’ll preview the Bruins more in a separate post later today, but let’s talk briefly about why the Blackhawks can take them down tonight. Boston is a bit in panic mode — Claude Julien’s job security is again up for debate as the team is going through a 4-4-2 swing.

The most recent ding was blowing a three-goal lead against lowly Detroit and eventually losing 6-5. Boston has had issues winning at TD Garden, posting a poor 10-11-0 record at home. So there’s a couple good reasons for Chicago to be able to jump all over the Bruins.

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The defense also doesn’t seem to be having much success. The Bruins have a goal differential of minus-1 despite goaltender Tuukka Rask posting entirely serviceable numbers (.919/2.11). He also has five shutouts. So Rask is mostly doing his job, but the team in front of him has its issues.

The Blackhawks do have some speed in their ranks, and they’d be wise to use it tonight on a sluggish defensive group. The team would also be wise to keep its collective head up against a hard-hitting outfit that includes former St. Louis Blues captain David Backes.

But there’s definitely a win here for the Blackhawks, as Boston maybe questioning itself coming off a bizarre loss combined with the team’s home woes should serve well a Chicago team that posted a third-period road rally in its last outing.

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