Editorials

Blackhawks: Ready or not, it is time for a Tampa Bay rematch

By Jimmy Lynch
David Kampf #64, Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
David Kampf #64, Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /
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The Chicago Blackhawks have a rough weekend ahead. The team faces off against the toughest opponent of all three times this weekend as the Tampa Bay Lightning come to town. This will most likely be a tough set of games.

There is no more delaying the inevitable for the Backhawks. While the team has been pretty exciting as of late, they now face the worst batch of games they will face all seasons. With games against Florida, Tampa Bay, Carolina, and Dallas, March is not going to be the ‘Hawks friend.

Tampa Bay is not going to be an easy opponent. They are currently on a five game winning streak and have an overall record of 15-4-1. This team rarely loses, and they are coming to town no matter what.

The Blackhawks do not need to beat Tampa Bay in order to make the playoffs. The fourth spot in this division is wide open and Chicago can lose their matchups against Tampa and still sneak in. The issue with that is the fourth spot is guaranteed a series against Tampa Bay so take with that what you will.

In order for the Blackhawks to beat Tampa Bay they need to play a lot more defensively sound hockey.

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Winning board battles, limiting turnovers, and not taking too many chances is how the ‘Hawks need to approach the Lightning. Tampa Bay’s fourth line could matchup with the ‘Hawks top line any day of the week, so the Blackhawks are going to need to get some lucky bounces to sneak away with a win, or even a lead at the end of a period.

Assuming Lankinen gets the start in net on Thursday, this will be his first matchup against Tampa Bay this season. Both Subban and Delia gave up five goals against the Lightning earlier this season so it will be interesting to see how Lankinen performs.

As mentioned, the ‘Hawks first two games against Tampa Bay were pretty bad. The bar is pretty low on how fans should expect the ‘Hawks to finish against the Lightning. However the great thing is, they can not do any worse.

Maybe the Blackhawks will surprise people. This lineup looks a lot different than they did at the beginning of the season and at the end of the day, Tampa Bay is just another hockey team; they have lost before.

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