Coming off of an impressive victory over the St. Louis Blues, the Chicago Blackhawks will look to make one last splash before their circus road trip in a Sunday home game against the Calgary Flames.
The Blackhawks, who beat the Blues 4-2 on Saturday night for only their second road victory of the season, have been dominant on home ice this season, posting a 7-2-1 record at the United Center this season. Couple that dominance with the overall struggles of the Flames, who are the owners of one of the worst records in the NHL and arguably the worst defense in the league, and it stands to reason that the Hawks should be optimistic.
After all, their win Saturday night featured plenty to get excited about. Corey Crawford was dominant, stopping 29 shots to lead his team to victory. Marko Dano looked comfortable on the top line alongside Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa, and the trio served as a very effective checking line throughout the contest.
Add to all of that Patrick Kane scoring yet another critical goal and the fact that the team got defenseman Duncan Keith back after he underwent surgery to repair a torn meniscus earlier this season, and arrows are starting to point up for this Blackhawks bunch.
Of course, there is still plenty to be concerned about. The team has yet to get consistent offense from a line outside of their second line, and they are also woefully deficient in terms of defensive depth, although Michal Rozsival looked decent and Trevor van Riemsdyk did score a goal against the Blues Saturday.
Even with these concerns, the Blackhawks have an opportunity to make a statement as they get ready to begin the circus trip later this week. A win against Calgary Sunday would certainly help set the stage for a run of success, and the Hawks have to hope they can get one final jolt of energy from their home crowd at the UC.