The Chicago Blackhawks record in the last five games of 5-4-1 is not striking fear into anyone, but they can get back on track with a win tonight against the red hot Florida Panthers. During these two teams’ last matchup on Saturday night, everything went well for the Blackhawks to start the game.
The game was tied at zero going into the second period, something that should favor the Hawks as Florida is a very skilled team. A minute into the second period, Chicago finally got on the board with a big goal thanks to Brandon Hagel, and it appeared as though the team was going to run away with this one. That lasted for oh about five minutes.
Florida scored the next four goals and it would not be till the third period with a little over a minute left in the entire game before Chicago would get back on the board again. This was not the best game for the Blackhawks, and it shows how this team still has an extra step to take before actually being a top team again.
The Central Division has a three-team race for the first place spot. The Hurricanes, Lightning, and Panthers are all within a point of each other at 41 and 40. The next best team is Chicago with 33 points. While being a top-four team is nice, I want to see the Hawks create some separation between themselves and the Blue Jackets.
The Blackhawks need to be as good as the Hurricanes, Lightning, and Panthers at some point this season.
More from Blackhawk Up
- Blackhawks: Grading Connor Murphy and a position comparison
- Blackhawks: Shuffling the lines to try and spark offense at 5 on 5
- These Lineup Changes could Solve the Blackhawks’ Scoring Problem
- Blackhawks: List Of Things To Be Thankful For This Thanksgiving
- The perfect holiday gifts for the Chicago Blackhawks fan
Those top three teams are basically playing their hearts out to get the top overall seed in the Central to guarantee a matchup against the weak Hawks or Blue Jackets. I believe that the Hawks can compete against any one of those three teams, and it just comes down to playing to their strengths.
On Saturday, the Blackhawks won a measly 24 faceoffs compared to Florida’s 48. Winning faceoffs guarantees the team gets possession to start a play. It is way easier to play with the puck than it is to defend against it.
No one was perfect in the faceoff dot last night, but Carl Soderberg was the best overall winning nine faceoffs and having a percentage of 45% in the dot. Pius Suter and Philipp Kurashev had particularly bad days in the faceoff dot on Saturday. Kurashev won just two of the 11 faceoffs he took and Suter was three for nine in the dot.
Maybe the Blackhawks should rethink some of their lines heading into tonight’s matchup. Playing Patrick Kane with a center that can win more faceoffs is critical considering you want Kane to have the puck on his stick when he is on the ice.
Hopefully, the Blackhawks can get back in the win column tonight against the Panthers. Florida is one of a few teams that Chicago has not beat this season, so getting the win would be nice before going to Tampa Bay for two games.
Game 30 for the Blackhawks:
Time: 6:00 PM Central
Where: BB&T Center
TV Broadcast: NBC Sports Chicago
Live Streaming: FuboTV
fuboTV has live NHL games on NBC, NBCSN, CNBC, and USA in which you can stream from your phone, television, and all your favorite devices. This is a service that broadcasts live TV over the internet, no cable required. Watch your favorite teams, network shows, news, and movies on 100+ channels. Plus on-demand entertainment, including full TV series. fuboTV is currently available in the United States, Canada, and Spain