Long Road Home
The NHL regular season is almost over and the Chicago Blackhawks are not a shoe in for the post season.
After Friday’s game the Hawks will have 16 games left, half of those being on the road.
The road to the playoffs is paved with teams that above the Hawks in the standings.
They are also going to visit teams who have amazing home records. The Detroit Red Wings won 23 straight home games at Joe Louis Arena. If the Hawks can get a win there on Sunday, it would be a huge boost to the team.
If they don’t win at least 60 percent of the games they have left, chances are they will not make to April hockey.
The Hawks are dominant at home, but are under 500 on the road, which makes the eight roads games they have left so much more important.
And as it is now, they will not have home ice advantage if they make it to the play offs, so they need to get better on the road.
After the All-Star break the Hawks have had a horrid stretch.
They suffered a nine game losing streak, followed that by four wins and then another three losses.
They will need to have a string of wins if they want a shot at the Stanley Cup.
Blackhawks Captain, Jonathan Toews has missed six straight games with an “upper-body” injury that some speculate is a concussion.
The Hawks are not the same without him. Toews is arguably their best player and their leader and the Hawks need him back if they want to make a deep play off run.
Hopefully Toews can return to the ice soon.
The way the Chicago Blackhawks play in this last stretch of the season will determine a lot.
Players like Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith and the two goalies, Corey Crawford and Ray Emery, need to step it up, especially with the absence of Toews.
The Hawks have a tough road ahead of them, visiting seven different arenas in the six weeks of the season.
The most important games on the road are those against divisional foes, St. Louis, Nashville and Detroit, all are ahead of the Hawks in the standings.
The Hawks will look to try to solidify a playoff spot and maybe even move up in the standings with their final 16 games.
Because once the play offs start, the regular season record is thrown out the window and anything can happen.
Here’s a look at where the Hawks are headed when they are not playing at the United Center.