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5 Reasons Chicago Blackhawks’ Circus Trip Has Been Successful

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Five Reasons the Chicago Blackhawks' Circus Trip Has Been Successful

chicago blackhawks
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight, the Chicago Blackhawks' long slog through the western part of North America ends with a game against the perennial annoyance, the Phoenix Coyotes. By now, the Blackhawks have traveled to Colorado, Manitoba, British Columbia, Alberta, Texas and now Arizona. Their frequent flier miles must be through the roof.

After a horrendous 5-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche, the Blackhawks have won five-straight against the Winnipeg Jets, Vancouver Canucks, Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames and Dallas Stars. The Blackhawks have traveled so much that fatigue has begun to set in, which is a certain risk when going on these long trips.

There are negative things to take away from this, of course. The Blackhawks have fallen behind against the Avalanche, Canucks, Flames and Stars, having to come back in three of those games. The team was able to thoroughly beat the Jets and Oilers, but neither team are very good to begin with.

Still, there isn't too much to complain about. As mentioned earlier, they have won five games in a row, which includes some pretty good teams. But the Blackhawks' success does not mean that it's just the stars who've stepped up; it's the stars, role players and youngsters alike who have helped make this road trip a success.

Barring a loss to the Coyotes, the Blackhawks will certainly finish the road trip with a winning record. Coach Joel Quenneville should be pleased with his team, even if they have struggled in certain games.

So, let's get started and see why this annual, tiring road trip was a very good Circus Trip.

Paul Chancey is a Chicago Blackhawks writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter at @ChanceyPaul and add him to your network at Google+.

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5. Road Dominance

Chicago Blackhawks
Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

The Blackhawks are 10-3-1 on the road this year. If that doesn't count as success, then the priorities need to be looked at. They'll need to play well on the road down the stretch and during the playoffs. Might as well get started.

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4. Third Periods

Patrick Sharp
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Blackhawks have mainly been a third period team during this circus trip. While there's plenty of questions as to why they couldn't dominate early during the games against the Flames and Stars, the fact that they've shown they can come back from big deficits means that they still have a nose for winning.

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3. Patrick Kane

Patrick Kane
Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Patrick Kane continued his points streak during the trip, being a vital part of the Blackhawks' comebacks against the Canucks and Flames. His maturation is continuing, and should be in the running for a top scorer in the NHL. While the streak did end, his play has been a vital part of the Blackhawks this year.

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2. Youngsters stepped up

Antti Raanta
Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Antti Raanta may have given up a couple goals in both his outings, but he's done his job exceptionally well. He kept the Hawks in the game against Calgary, which allowed them to come back and win. At the same time, Ben Smith was the hero against the Stars and his line with Brandon Bollig and Marcus Kruger were vital in the win against the Stars.

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1. Record

Chicago Blackhawks
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

This cannot be stressed enough. Aside from the loss to the Avalanche, the Blackhawks have won five games in a row and have jumped to the top of the Central Division and the Western Conference. Despite the bad loss at the beginning, the Hawks managed to come back with the five-win streak and turn the trip around.