The Chicago Blackhawks put on a show in Calgary at the Saddledome last night against the Flames. A pathetic goaltending performance by the Flames allowed the Blackhawks to stomp on the Flames for a 8-4 win. Both David Rittich and Cam Talbot gave up 4 goals each, as they had no answers for the Blackhawks. Rittich allowed 4 goals on 15 shots, while Talbot gave up the same on 13 shots.
That’s a big yikes by Rittich and Talbot. The final score wasn’t indicative of how the game went. The Flames were putting pressure on Robin Lehner all night and scored 4 goals on 42 shots. Conversely, Chicago hit the net just 28 times, so it wasn’t that lopsided of a game. The Flames get some help in net and they should have won.
Chicago will not get the night off, as they’ll play on a back-to-back in Winnipeg on Sunday. It’s the last game of a five-game road trip for the Blackhawks, which actually started in Winnipeg last Sunday. They didn’t get off to the best of starts, as the Jets bypassed the Blackhawks for an easy 5-2 victory. The rest of the road trip was sour as well until last night in Calgary. Chicago were downed by scores of 5-3 in Edmonton and 3-0 in Vancouver.
The narrative changed fast at the Saddledome, though. The Blackhawks still have an outside chance of getting into the playoffs, though it won’t be an easy task and the odds are stacked against them. The Blackhawks advanced to 26-24-8 and 60 points on the season. A 6-point deficit doesn’t appear like a lot, but when they have to leapfrog four other teams, it’s not going to be easy.
Winnipeg is one of the teams that the Blackhawks will have to jump over if they want to go to the playoffs. However, not even the Jets would be going to the postseason if they started today. The Jets welcome the Blackhawks to MTS Place on Sunday with a record of 29-25-5 and 63 points. The Predators and Coyotes stand ahead of them after losing two games they could have won against the Rangers and Sharks. A loss against the Blackhawks today would be a killer. Head below for our free Blackhawks vs. Jets pick.
Chicago Blackhawks vs. Winnipeg Jets Betting Odds:
Blackhawks vs. Jets Prediction:
The Blackhawks cannot expect to come out on Sunday and expect another lousy goaltending performance. If that’s going to be their approach, then it’s going to be another failed trip to Winnipeg for the Blackhawks. In their contest a week ago, Corey Crawford allowed 3 goals on 34 shots. A big 3rd period was the difference for the Jets.
With Lehner playing in Calgary last night, we should expect to see Crawford making another appearance in Winnipeg tonight. Lehner has been the better of the two this season, with Crawford getting well past his prime. Crawford owns a 2.89 GAA and 0.911 save percentage going into Sunday. He’s still a serviceable goalie, but just not the same guy from five years ago.
26-year-old Connor Hellebuyck will be expected in net for the Jets. He’s been up and down this season, with some bad and not so good stretches of play. Hellebuyck allowed 2 goals each in four straight games. However, in his past two outings, he’s gotten touched up for 7 goals in total. Overall on the season, Hellebuyck has posted a 2.72 GAA and 0.919 save percentage. He’s been solid against the Blackhawks in his career, having posted a 2.51 GAA in 16 outings.
In the Jets’ previous ten games, they’ve allowed an average of 2.7 goals per game, so that’s been consistent with the output from Hellebuyck in 2019-20. At home this season, the Jets have surrendered 2.9 goals per game, while the Blackhawks are up to 3.23 goals against on the road. The Blackhawks took advantage of their scoring chances last night and bad goaltending, but they didn’t exactly do much to hold back the Flames’ offence.
The Jets have not been the easiest opponent for the Blackhawks. Winnipeg has been the better team with a record of 7-2 in their last nine meetings. The Blackhawks didn’t miss Zack Smith last night, who will be out for 7-10 days, but that will likely be different on a back-to-back. Following an 8-4 win last night, look for the Blackhawks to get a bit complacent. Regression will likely get to them after the goals kept coming for the offence in Calgary. The Jets look like the play on Sunday at MTS Place.