Somehow the Chicago Blackhawks already have a must-win game

Chicago Blackhawks, Philipp Kurashev #23, Dominik Kubalik #8 Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Chicago Blackhawks, Philipp Kurashev #23, Dominik Kubalik #8 Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports /

The Chicago Blackhawks are going to play their first home game of the season tonight, and yet things already seem to be in a rocky position for the Blackhawks. Starting the season out 0-3-1 was not ideal for the organization, and now they need to get a win to start getting things back on track.

The Chicago Blackhawks are in rebuild mode, no one is going to deny that. Everyone expects them to struggle, but that does not mean they shouldn’t be “in” some of the games they lose. The Blackhawks are still searching for their first win, just after they managed to finally play a close game.

There is definitely momentum to build on after the Blackhawks’ OT loss to the Florida Panthers. After picking up the first point of the season, Chicago needs to turn that into four additional points against the Red Wings.

Kevin Lankinen looked alright in net, while it was not great, it was definitely something to build on for the Blackhawks. Plus finally seeing Dominik Kubalik score a few goals might help the effort going into tonight’s game. Chicago needs to play with a different mindset tonight.

The Chicago Blackhawks need to play with a sense of urgency tonight.

After the Blackhawks two bad games against the defending Stanley Cup Champions, getting outscored 10-3 during that time, the one thing that helped was knowing Chicago would get the chance to play Detroit soon. That same thought was important after they only got a point out of the two games against Florida.

While the Panthers were not as good as Tampa Bay, they still are a franchise competing for a playoff spot. Tonight’s game against the Red Wings will pit the Blackhawks against the only other team openly rebuilding in the Central, plus it is a home opener, which should always be a game to remember during a season.

I have been to a few of the home openers through the past five to ten years. A lot of the games have been rather fun and exciting, but there have been some losses along the way. The first home game for the Blackhawks in 2017-18 was against the Pittsburgh Penguins and featured Chicago’s 10 to 1 stomping over the Penguins the year after they took home the Stanley Cup. Games lack that will always be memorable and exciting, but it also goes the other way.

During the 2016-17 home opener, the Blackhawks lost to the St. Louis Blue 5-2 to begin their season. Losing to a division rival hurts, but on opening night with fans in the crowd really stings at the start of a season. Chicago was outshot that night 33 to 19, and overall the team did not put up much of a fight against the Blues.

During a year where the Blackhawks are already being counted out as a rebuilder, and having already given up five goals every time in their past four games, the ‘Hawks need to put up a better fight tonight against the Red Wings.

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The Blackhawks and Red Wings are believed to be on the same level as of now, but through the first four games, the Wings hold a 2-2-0 record. Detroit beat the Carolina Hurricanes and Columbus Blue Jackets once this year, splitting both of their opening series.

Thus far Detroit has proven to actually be a competitive hockey team thanks to four goals by Bobby Ryan, and the great play of Jonathan Bernier who has made 51 saves on 55 shots thus far.

Tonight’s game will not be easy for the Blackhawks, and very could have them drop to a 0-4-1 record. A losing streak is never easy to get out of, and that is only true the longer it goes, Chicago needs a win tonight.

If the Blackhawks lose they prove that they truly are the bottom team in this division, if they lose tonight then no matter who the ‘Hawks play or where they play, they can get walked on by opponents. Beating Detroit in both of the two first matchups of the season is imperative for the team this year, as it helps change the narrative after the first four games.

The last time the Blackhawks had a shortened season they impressed many by going on an impressive win streak that began the run to the franchise’s second Stanley Cup in four seasons. Shortened seasons have been the Blackhawks’ friends in the past, but if they do not get the win tonight, fans might need to brace for a new record as they struggle to get a win and go on a lengthy losing streak.