Blackhawks Look to Continue Surge Against the Hurricanes
By Michael Wagner
The Chicago Blackhawks look to continue their winning ways as they welcome the Carolina Hurricanes to the United Center.
The month of November has been a turn around for the Chicago Blackhawks as they have recorded point in 8 of 9 games and are currently riding a four game winning streak. The combination of exceptional goaltending and resurgent offense have led the Blackhawks in what has been a successful November.
Even with the success this month the Blackhawks are still clawing their way up the standings and need to continue piling up points as we pass the quarter pole of the season. Tonight they Blackhawks welcome another challenging opponent in the Carolina Hurricanes who currently sit at 12-7-1 on the season.
It appears as though we will be getting the same line up we have seen over the recent stretch of games but it appears as though we will be getting Robin Lehner in net to face the Canes.
It appears as though coach Jeremy Colliton is happy to do the alternating route when it comes to the goaltending situation, not necessarily the hot hand. This is a strategy that I think is actually quite interesting in that it is no question that the Blackhawks give up a ton of shots and by having this tandem that can go back and forth it allows them the proper rest after some high workload nights.
What to Expect
It is clear that something happened to this team prior to the game against the Vancouver Canucks, as highlighted by Jay Zawaski on the Madhouse Chicago Hockey Podcast, and now the Blackhawks seem to be all on the same page. Players like Jonathan Toews and Erik Gustafsson are finding their stride again and the likes of Alex Nylander and Kirby Dach are continuing to grow their games.
Of course you want to win every game that is placed in front of you this seems like a game where the Blackhawks could find themselves struggling against the Canes potent offense. While I think it is going to be difficult for the Blackhawks stop this productive offense of Carolina, they have proven they have an offense that can match up to any and with another solid goaltending performance could see this winning streak continue.
Player to Watch
It is interesting to watch as the hate for Alex Nylander begins to dissipate now that he has been a consistent piece in the Blackhawks top six forwards. While not lighting the world on fire with nine points in 19 games he has continued to evolve as a player and playing with the likes of Toews and Brandon Saad has done wonders for his development.
He has been more noticeable in the corners going after pucks and not shying away from contact like we saw early on. His defensive game has also seen improvement as I don’t see him coasting back into the defensive zone or just looking lost when trying to defend in the Blackhawks zone.
We have also seen that he does still possess all the tools that is going to make him a productive player with those two slick goals against the Nashville Predators on Saturday. Tonight I am interested to see in Nylander can continue to build on his success much like the Blackhawks have throughout November.
Where to Watch
7:30pm CT – United Center – Chicago, IL
TV: NBC Sports Chicago
Radio: 720 WGN