The Chicago Blackhawks return home following a long five-game road trip. They haven’t played at home since a 2-1 loss against the Boston Bruins in overtime on February 5. Seven of their last nine games have been on the road, so it hasn’t been an easy stretch for the Blackhawks recently. The highlight of the road trip was an 8-4 win against the Calgary Flames on Saturday night.
Cam Talbot and David Rittich had no answers, as the Blackhawks poured the offence on. It was a nice response by the Blackhawks following a 3-0 loss against the Canucks. There was no time to celebrate due to a back-to-back. The Blackhawks weren’t as successful the next day, as the Jets were able to get away with a close 3-2 victory at MTS Place.
The 8-4 win for the Blackhawks is their only win in the last seven games. Gaining momentum and possibly a chance to go on a run and threaten for the playoffs has been squashed in the last two weeks. The recent slide has the Blackhawks at 26-25-8 and 60 points. That has them behind the final wildcard in the Western Conference by 8 points.
Not impossible, but you figure if the Blackhawks had been playing well recently, they’d be pretty close to that wildcard spot. There is time left to go on a run, though that’s going to require passing four teams as it stands now. We’ve seen way crazier things happen in the NHL before, though.
Jeremy Colliton would do himself some favours if he’s able to get the Blackhawks into playoff contention. If the slide continues for the Blackhawks into the offseason, it will be interesting to see what the front office does with Colliton. He’s a young head coach that was expected to bring something fresh and new to the organization after Joel Quenneville was ditched, but Blackhawks’ fans are left missing him now.
There were rumours earlier in the season, like November and December, that Colliton may have been on the way out. I think if he does stay in Chicago in the summer, Stan Bowman probably won’t hesitate to fire him if things go south early next year. The Rangers likely aren’t going to the playoffs either, but they’ve done a lot of good things this season. There is something to build on for next year, and that’s all the Rangers were looking to do in 2019-20. Head below for our free Rangers vs. Blackhawks pick.
N.Y. Rangers vs. Chicago Blackhawks Betting Odds:
Rangers vs. Blackhawks Prediction:
The Rangers are 8 points behind for a wildcard as well. They’re in a more competitive conference, though, and would be in good shape if they were with the Blackhawks in the Western Conference. A record of 30-24-4 and 64 points would put the Rangers within 4 points of going to the playoffs. That’s not the case, though, and they will need to do better than double that down the stretch. In any event, the Rangers have been playing well recently. Despite a 3-1 loss against the Boston Bruins in their most recent outing, they’ve been sharp with wins in four of their last five outings. The Rangers carry a record of 7-3 in their last ten games into tonight.
They couldn’t get the win against the Bruins, but it was a competitive game nevertheless. The first-half Rangers may have given up in that one, but there was some effort in that contest. In their previous ten outings, the Rangers have scored 3 goals per game while allowing just 2.2 goals against per game. Alexandar Georgiev, who has been the subject of trade rumours, has played well recently. He allowed 1 goal in a win against the Blue Jackets, and then looked good against the Bruins, with 2 goals allowed on 33 shots. The Rangers have some good trade bait with more performances like that from Georgiev.
Igor Shesterkin has been nursing an ankle injury the past week, so may be unavailable again tonight. Georgiev has shown of late that he is capable between the pipes if the Rangers need him again, though. The Rangers have been a decent team on the road in 2019-20. They’re about as good at home as they are on the road, with a record of 14-11-2 as a visiting team.
Conversely, the Blackhawks excellent home ice advantage that they used to have at the United Center hasn’t been present. They’ve gone 12-12-4 on the year, while notching 2.86 goals per game and allowing 3 goals per game at home. Their last win in Chicago feels like ages ago, a 5-2 win against the Winnipeg Jets on January 19. I’d go with the better value on the underdog and the Rangers in this one. The Rangers have been playing better hockey, and I don’t think the Blackhawks have as good a chance to win here as the odds indicate.