It’s certainly a heck of a tall order. The St. Louis Blues have had the Chicago Blackhawks‘–and the rest of the Central Division’s– number this season. But the point still stands. At some point, the Blackhawks will have to beat the St. Louis Blues. The Blues are the hottest team in the NHL right now. The Hawks…are not. But the Hawks are still defending Stanley Cup champions. And if they want to get their season back on track, they have to start by beating the Blues.
I discussed the urgency of this issue in this slideshow several months ago. That was after attending a game between the two teams where the Blues erased a total three, two-goal leads. It’s clear the Hawks can score goals on the Blues, but with the way the Blues have been playing as of late, this will no doubt be difficult, especially with the Hawks’ offensive struggles. But Ryan Miller, who was recently acquired, can be beat. Patrick Kane, who has played with Miller on the US Olympic team, likely knows ways to beat him.
Until a certain Finnish product gets the approval to play, the Hawks offense has to make do, especially without Brandon Saad. Just after getting Marian Hossa back, the Hawks lost another big part of their offense (even though they scored twice against the Philadelphia Flyers last night). It’s certainly bad mojo for a team that’s already struggling.
But the main reason the Hawks need to beat the Blues is simple: If they can’t beat the Blues in the regular season, it’ll be near impossible to do so in the postseason (although I suspect I might get comments saying that since the Blues always choke, I shouldn’t worry). But even so, the Hawks need to get on a roll. What better way to start it than by beating their biggest rival? There might be some momentum in the rivalry to be gained.
The Hawks have a chance to get inside the Blues’ heads and get back on track. If they can beat the Blues, it’ll be a huge boost for the season and their chances. The Blues may be hot, but the Hawks have to be better. That has to start happening immediately.