It’s not exactly what you’d expect, but perhaps a month away from the United Center might do the Chicago Blackhawks some good. They’ve only won four games in the month of January, their lack off offense is causing concerns, and the fanbase is starting to get a little itchy. So, now they’ll play the first of six games away from the United Center (seven if you count a game after the Olympic break) against the Calgary Flames.
Yesterday, the Hawks recalled center Brandon Pirri from their AHL affiliate Rockford IceHogs, hoping to get some offense and energy at the second-line center role; he will likely center a line with Patrick Kane and Kris Versteeg. While it’s not the recommended line (Kane should be with Jonathan Toews and Pirri should center a line between Marian Hossa and Brandon Saad), it is an attempt to jump-start the offense. As for Bryan Bickell, he seems to have gotten the message from the benching on Sunday (it didn’t really matter for the team in the long run).
The Hawks should not underestimate the Flames, however. They did beat the Hawks in November in overtime, but the Hawks won the next game against them in Alberta. The Flames are 3-6-1 in their last 10 games, but just like the Winnipeg Jets did on Sunday, they could provide a trap for the Blackhawks. But given how the Hawks are starting to turn a little desperate, perhaps they won’t fall for any traps. Although, the Flames are currently unbeaten in their 5-game homestand; captain Mark Giordano is riding a six-game points streak.
In order for the Hawks to get back to their winning ways, they will have to generate offense and stop playing from behind. So many problems have risen from playing sluggish early on or blowing leads late in games. The Blackhawks will need to play a full 60 minutes, again a problem that has been causing trouble. They’ll need to find the dominance that made them a threat in the first place, which means playing with the offensive fire that can turn the season around and give them the momentum they need to win the Stanley Cup again.