The Chicago Blackhawks (5-12) get no breaks with the Toronto Maple Leafs (10-5-2) coming into town for a 1pm faceoff today.
Previously on Blackhawks Hockey:
Well, it started with Corey Perry being a healthy scratch. The middle saw them losing 7-3 to the lowly Columbus Blue Jackets. The end kicked off speculation as to why it was an organizational decision to scratch Perry.
And now, a bit on the Maple Leafs
The Leafs are sitting in second place with William Nylander and Auston Matthews tearing up the league. Matthews is tied for the league lead with 14 while Nylander has 27 points (12-15) and is only four points behind the league leader in points. In short, they’re where they’re supposed to be. Don’t forget though, one of those five losses came from the Blackhawks in a 4-1 stunner back in October.
How to Watch and Listen
No Taylor Hall. Corey Perry is still scratched. Fairly or not, the Blackhawks are about a one line team right now, and it’s all concentrated on the top line. This afternoon is one where fans are hoping they’re not completely blown out.
Best Case/Worst Case/Final Verdict
Best Case – They not only fight through three periods, they find a way to snap the five-game losing streak.
Worst Case – Another blow out, which begins to just chip away at all the strong showings that carried them through the first month.
Final Verdict – It’s not really a place for a lot of optimism right now–and Blackhawks fans shouldn’t be made to feel bad for feeling lousy about it. Between the Hall and Perry news as well as getting blown out by the Blue Jackets, the good feelings from the beginning of the season sure seem like a distant memory.
Keeping things close would be a big win tonight just for morale sake–even though they don’t want the pity or to acknowledge such things. But the Blackhawks need something–anything–to turn the tide a bit on what could spiral into a brutal and potentially long losing streak.
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