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Blackhawks Gameday

Blackhawks Game #38: Bedard’s First Game at the Garden

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The Chicago Blackhawks (11-24-2) will take on the New York Rangers tonight (25-10-1)  at the Madison Square Garden. Puck drop is at 6pm. A classic Original Six matchup in the mecca of all professional stadiums: Madison Square Garden.

Previously on Blackhawks Hockey:

The Blackhawks skid hit three games after falling to the Nashville Predators 3-0 on Tuesday. Adding insult to injury, Chicago lost Anthony Beauvillier to an injury and he’s now on the IR.

How to Watch and Listen

TV: NBC Sports Chicago
Radio: WGN 720

Scouting the Opponent and Miscellaneous Musings

The Rangers are one of the NHL’s best teams and a Cup contender. On paper it doesn’t look great but the Blackhawks have seemingly played the league’s best teams better this season. But this is also a short handed Blackhawks team missing another offensive contributor in Beauvillier and trying to spread out an attack that has seen its best success with whoever is on the Bedard line.

Now it’s shuffled again with recently picked up Jaycob Megna slotting into the defensive pairings tonight. The waiver wire acquisition will bring some veteran experience to a blue line that has trended younger as injuries have mounted.

But where will the scoring come from? Jason Dickinson has 12, Nick Foligno has eight, and Ryan Donato six. From there it’s a steep falloff. This does provide opportunity for guys like Cole Guttman, who has been a great addition with energy and six points (3-3) in 18 games. It’s also a chance for Lukas Reichel to bring some momentum to his game where’s he had some great chances lately.

But it’s a sobering truth that the Blackhawks being on fumes will only make the task taller when it comes to wins. Of course, they’re going for lottery luck, but there’s still pride involvement. Getting beaten–and badly at times–doesn’t sit well with professionals. But the roster is on fumes and the reality is that the schedule isn’t forgiving when it comes to who the Blackhawks play next.

New York tonight. New Jersey tomorrow night. Calgary on Sunday and Edmonton on Tuesday. Then it’s Winnipeg on the road next Thursday followed by Dallas next Saturday. The first sign of relief? San Jose on Tuesday January 16th, which is the other competitor to the lottery standings.

A long losing streak is a real possibility, but the Blackhawks have surprised at times playing teams above their own level. Tonight will offer the first clue as to how it goes.

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