For the Chicago Blackhawks, the likely success of the annual Circus Trip and the subsequent demeanor of the team going forward can all be fixed with one game tomorrow against the Winnipeg Jets, whom the defending Champions have decimated by a combined score of 9-2 in two meetings.
However, for as much as the Blackhawks have the potential to sway momentum somewhat back in their favor, the inconsistent performances of the past three games can also rear their heads once again, further burying a team which now has a legitimate injury concern on their roster.
In their loss to the Colorado Avalanche last night, the Blackhawks lost forward Bryan Bickell for Thursday’s game, and possibly more depending on the result of a MRI conducted on Wednesday. As a result, the Blackhawks recalled Jeremy Morin from AHL Rockford once again to fill in on the third line, where he has two assists in six games.
While Morin is a threat offensively, the Blackhawks will be missing Bickell’s size and physicality on the third line. This will put extra pressure on new acquisition Kris Versteeg,
The Jets, for their part, have improved since they last met the Blackhawks, and have only one regulation loss in their last six games. While that is rather impressive, the Jets have struggled massively against the ‘Hawks this season, and their confidence has to be a bit waning despite being at home.
Patrick Kane has 22 points in 22 games this season and will be a key component to how the Blackhawks fight against the Jets, who will be reluctant to let them control the game’s tempo. With a rather small lineup, the exciting Kane, who is also on an eight-game points streak, will likely be the key to how well the Blackhawks’ night goes.
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