After a subpar home stand the Chicago Blackhawks head out on the road to face the Carolina Hurricanes
This is not the start that Blackhawks fans had in mind, 2-4-2 to start the season with 7 of those 8 games being played at the United Center. Now they head on a day trip to Carolina for a matinée game against a team that has had a very good start to the season.
The Blackhawks are going to need to see more from their stars as Jonathan Toews, Dylan Strome and Alex DeBrincat have all struggled early on and even with 8 points in 8 games Patrick Kane has not had the consistency the Blackhawks need to be competitive. Aside from the stars they need to see more out of their defense as goaltender Robin Lehner was hung out to dry constantly against the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday.
Saturday will see a couple of changes with Corey Crawford taking over the net for Lehner and will see spark plug Drake Caggiula being benched in favor of Zach Smith. The Caggiula for Smith swap is an interesting one as Caggiula’s effort has been extremely consistent even in the early losses this season and the move seems to be a change for the sake of change.
Looking at the Hurricanes it is going to be quite the challenge for the Blackhawks as the Canes still boast one of the best defense in the league and have found more offense than they have had in prior seasons, couple that with a solid goaltending tandem and the Canes are poised to capitalized on their 2018-2019 success.
The Blackhawks will look to flip the script from their early season struggles and maybe a road trip is just what the doctor ordered. Getting on the road may allow this team to play with a little more urgency and what most Blackhawks fans hope, play with a little more of a killer instinct as they have let numerous games slip through their hands late.
It is still extremely early in the season for fans to give up on the Blackhawks but this weekend back to back will be a big chance pick up some much-needed points and even more importantly give them momentum to propel them through the rest of the season.
Time: Noon Central
Where: PNC Arena
TV Broadcast: NBC Sports Chicago
Radio: 720 AM
Live Streaming: NHL.TV Free Game