Yuck. That’s what the Blackhawks are thinking when they look at their last couple of weeks. It hasn’t been an ideal start for the Blackhawks, who enter tonight with a record of 5-5-2. At the end of the day, though, they should be feeling thankful they’re 5-5-2 after their recent skid. The Blackhawks have lost three in a row, including just one win in their last six games, and a loss against the expansion Vegas Golden Knights.
This is the same team who beat the Penguins 10-1 in the opener. That doesn’t resemble the same team from the last five years. Even the best go on slumps, though, those are unavoidable. For the Blackhawks, I think it’s more of an effort issue. It seems like they know they aren’t this bad of a team, but are just going through the motions early in the season and conserving some energy. They have too much talent to look so bad.
The Blackhawks should be fine as we dig deeper into the season. A problem I can note they have is with their goaltending situation. Corey Crawford is fully cemented in net as the starter. However, if he goes down the Blackhawks are in full crisis mode. Scott Darling behind Crawford was such a nice luxury for the Hawks, but he is no longer a Blackhawk.
Anton Forsberg is backing Crawford up, who just looked lost against the Avalanche. He hasn’t proven that he can handle the NHL to this point, which we’d find out real quick of Crawford goes down with an injury. The Blackhawks have had a couple of days off to prepare for the Philadelphia Flyers. Head below for our free Flyers vs. Blackhawks pick.
Philadelphia Flyers vs. Chicago Blackhawks Pick
If there’s going to be a best time for a bad stretch, early in the season would be the time to do it. The Blackhawks are hoping to put the end of October in the past, and move on with a fresh start in November. The couple of days off hopefully gave them a second to pause and start anew on Wednesday. It was a perfect time to get the extra night off. Crawford is expected to get the nod in net this evening. He’s been playing well, with a 2.12 GAA and 0.935% save percentage. The best Blackhawk in October was above and beyond Corey Crawford.
On the year, the Hawks are allowing an average of 2.83 goals per game. They can thank Forsberg for that number, because Crawford has been locked in. The Flyers have allowed an average of 2.92 goals per game this season. Brian Elliott, who has had a hard fall from grace, enters with a 3.23 GAA and 0.884% save percentage.
Elliott has no where been close to the same guy who was an elite netminder in St. Louis with the Blues. He could never find his footing in Calgary, and it’s carrying over to Philadelphia. At 32 years old, the mileage is starting to pile up for him. The Flyers have allowed an average of 4.25 goals per game in their last four games. They’re coming off a horrible loss to the league worst Arizona Coyotes. It was their first win of the season. After getting an extra night off, I think the Blackhawks come back home with a newfound attitude. They will turn it on tonight and avoid losing their sixth game in seven. The offense springs to life, and Crawford plays well on three night’s rest.
PICK: BLACKHAWKS (-140)