The Chicago Blackhawks seemed to have found some continuity in their game recently, winning six of their last 10 games for a total of 14 points and are starting to climb out of the cellar. The Blackhawks lead the league in goals scored for the month of November and finally picked up their first win ever against the Vegas Golden Knights.
The Blackhawks head into the second quarter of the season with a ton of momentum behind them, but the schedule holds a few opponents in front of them that they’ve had a tough time getting past in recent games. Here are five teams the Blackhawks have recently struggled against.
Tampa Bay Lightning
In the past eight games against the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Blackhawks have held a record of 1-5-2. The only good thing about Chicago’s struggles against Tampa Bay is they only play the Lightning a couple of times a year.
The last real success the Blackhawks had against the Lightning was in the 2015 Stanley Cup Final where they beat the Lightning in six games, winning the Stanley Cup. Since then, Tampa Bay has owned the Blackhawks. The Lightning kept a ridiculously good team since that Stanley Cup Final and are always a contender every year. Tampa Bay has outscored the Blackhawks 15 to 27 in their last eight meetings and has won seven straight against Chicago.
Chicago recently lost its final meeting of the season against the Carolina Hurricanes by a score of 4-2 with Carolina winning both meetings this season for the second straight year in a row. The Blackhawks can rest easy knowing they don’t have to play the Hurricanes anymore this year but once again, Carolina stormed over the Blackhawks for the fifth straight game. In their last eight meetings, the Blackhawks hold a record of 2-5-1 against the Hurricanes.
Carolina made it to the Eastern Conference Final in the 2018-19 season and was ultimately defeated by the Boston Bruins, but still, they’ve been one of the better teams in the league in seasons past and have held great success over the Blackhawks. Over the past few seasons, Chicago has done some business with Carolina, trading some players over to the Hurricanes, Teuvo Teravainen, Marcus Kruger, Scott Darling, and Trevor van Riemsdyk to name a few. Carolina has used those ex-Blackhawks in their recent wins against Chicago.
San Jose Sharks
With the San Jose Sharks also being in the Western Conference, the Blackhawks have seen the Sharks a few more times than they have some of the teams they have struggled with in the Eastern Conference. In the last 11 games against San Jose, the Blackhawks hold a record of 3-7-1.
The Sharks have had the Blackhawks number for the past few seasons, with the Blackhawks having already lost to the Sharks twice in the 2019-20 season. Much like the Blackhawks, the Sharks have held a consistent core squad together, featuring several veteran NHL players, and are a playoff contender every year.
The Blackhawks will get another shot at the Shark at home on Mar. 11 2020.
Vegas Golden Knights
Since Vegas joined the league in the 2017-18 season, they’ve dominated the Blackhawks, facing each other seven times with the Blackhawks picking up their first win against the Golden Knights on Nov. 13 earlier this season.
Still, the Golden Knights won six straight against the Blackhawks led by the goaltending of veteran Marc-Andre Fleury. Fleury holds a record of 5-1 with a save percentage of .895 against the Blackhawks. Chicago came close on snapping their losing streak against Fleury and the Golden Knights when the teams met back on Oct. 22 earlier in the season with the Blackhawks losing in a shootout 2-1.
Chicago will have a chance at winning their first series ever against Vegas when both teams meet again in Las Vegas on Dec. 10.
Another fellow Western Conference team the Blackhawks have recently struggled against has been the Calgary Flames. The Blackhawks currently hold a record of (2-4-3) in the last nine games against Calgary with the Flames winning the last three meetings between both teams, sweeping the Blackhawks all three times they met last season. In six of the last seven games between both teams, the final score has been decided by just one goal.
The Blackhawks have yet to face the Flames in the 2019-20 season but will have their first chance at a much needed when over the Flames on Dec. 31 on the road in Calgary.
As long as the Blackhawks continue to play like they’ve been playing, a lot of these losing streaks and poor records against these five teams should come to an end. I would say knowing how Chicago now fairs against these teams, I would suggest you defiantly circle these games. After all, these games with the teams that the Blackhawks have had struggles with could play into whether or not Chicago makes it to the playoffs.