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Blackhawks Upcoming Schedule Still Doesn’t Leave Much to be Thankful for

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Much has been written and talked about when it comes to the schedule the Chicago Blackhawks have faced since the puck dropped on the season back on October 10th.

Going based on the Thanksgiving Playoff Indicator which looks at teams in playoff position at the American Thanksgiving, the Blackhawks have played six of those teams along with the fringe teams within a few points of the final Wild Card spot.

Games over the next month will be in closer proximity and feature teams that will be in that coveted position for the playoffs. It’s almost a lock that those teams jockeying for position will be sitting pretty once the playoffs begin.

Blackhawks Will Still Have Work Cut Out For Them

Today’s game against Columbus provides the Blackhawks likeliest layup of the season so far. The Blue Jackets have been a gong show, with the latest seeing Patrik Laine being benched and a back and forth of sorts through the media.

From there, though, it’s a mixed bag. Here’s how it shapes out with those Thanksgiving standings in mind (bolded teams being in playoff spots):

  • Friday – Toronto Maple Leafs (3rd in Atlantic)
  • Sunday – St. Louis Blues (1st Wild Card spot)
  • 11/28 – Seattle Kraken (2nd Wild Card spot)
  • 11/30 – at Detroit Red Wings (1 point out of Wild Card)
  • 12/2 – at Winnipeg Jets (3rd in Central)
  • 12/3 – at Minnesota Wild (5 points out of Wild Card)
  • 12/5 – Nashville Predators (5 points out of Wild Card)
  • 12/7 – Anaheim Ducks (1 point out of Wild Card)
  • 12/9 – Blues (1st Wild Card spot)
  • 12/10 – Washington Capitals (3rd in the Metropolitan)
  • 12/12 – at Edmonton Oilers (8 points out of Wild Card)
  • 12/14 at Seattle Kraken (2nd Wild Card spot)
  • 12/17 – Vancouver Canucks (2nd in Pacific)
  • 12/19 – Colorado Avalanche (2nd in Central)
  • 12/22 – Montreal Canadiens (4 points out of Wild Card)
  • 12/23 – at St. Louis Blues (1st Wild Card spot)

Final Takeaways

Of the next 16 games, the Blackhawks play either back-to-back or every other night until December 17th, a span of twelve games. Seven of those 12 are at home where the Blackhawks only have one victory. Beyond that, 10 of the 16 games feature teams who are according to the Thanksgiving indicator playoff teams.

A few other notes:

  • The Eastern Conference is far closer in terms of points than the West. Only Columbus is more than five points out of a Wild Card spot right now. In the West? Five teams, including the Blackhawks, are five or more points out of the final spot.
  • Chicago gets a breather following its road game against St. Louis on December 23rd. They play the Jets on the 27th at home before a five-game road trip that takes them through the start of the new year

They’ve had early challenges with the schedule and it doesn’t look to ease at least for the next month at least. But the Blackhawks won’t use it as an excuse for performance.

If anything, it will make them better and help hasten the development of the growing core.

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