Blackhawks

Blackhawks look to get back on track vs. Oilers

660112.png

Blackhawks look to get back on track vs. Oilers

EDMONTON, Alberta The last time the Blackhawks were here in Edmonton, they were embarrassed by the Oilers in a 9-2 loss. Tonight, theyre looking to redeem themselves from that forgettable outing.

Corey Crawford will get the start when the Chicago Blackhawks face the Edmonton Oilers tonight at Rexall Place. The Blackhawks are winless in their last three, as they start today sixth in the Western Conference and fourth in the tight Central Division.

Tonight is about erasing that November loss, but its more about getting back on track.

We got our teeth kicked in here last time. Lets make sure we remember that and be smart about it, coach Joel Quenneville said. We need a win in a bad way. We respect for how they play but lets make sure we take care of our own business. Its not about redemption. Its playing strong and winning. Thats how you get even.

The Oilers were on a pretty good roll when the throttled the Blackhawks in November. Now, not so much; while theyve won two of their last three, the Oilers won just five games in January.

This is the last time we get a chance at them this year, Patrick Kane said. We heard the chant (last time here), We want 10. It would be nice to get a little payback.

The Blackhawks begin a brutal February schedule with tonights game. They need victories to keep pace in the always competitive West. Erasing the last game up here? That would be a bonus.

We need to win games, plain and simple, Patrick Sharp said. But certainly whats happened against these guys this year doesnt leave a good taste. The last time we were here was the low point of the season. We have to make sure we win it first. Were not out to settle scores.

Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks collide with Senators

2-21_senators_matchup_nhl_chi_blank.jpg
NBC Sports Chicago

Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks collide with Senators

Here are Three Things to Watch when the Blackhawks take on the Ottawa Senators tonight on NBC Sports Chicago and streaming live on the NBC Sports app. Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. with Blackhawks Pregame Live.

1. Trade chips.

The Blackhawks have reached the point in their season where they have no choice but to become sellers before the Feb. 26 deadline, and we saw that when they traded Michal Kempny to the Washington Capitals on Monday for a conditional third-round pick in 2018. Tommy Wingels could also be an attractive piece for a team looking to fill out their depth.

The Senators will definitely be sellers, and wow do they have some names potentially on the market that can fetch large returns: Derrick Brassard and Mike Hoffman are two players who log top-six minutes on a nightly basis and also have term left on their contract, which is great for teams looking to load up for this year and beyond.

The biggest name to watch, probably in the league altogether, is Erik Karlsson, who could be on the move if a team offers a big enough package for the Senators to pull the trigger now as opposed to in the offseason if they feel him re-signing is a long shot. He was the best defenseman last season, and if a team steps up to get him, they're getting two possible postseason runs out of him.

2. Artem Anisimov's experiment at left wing not working.

Joel Quenneville has tried rekindling the magic between Anisimov, Nick Schmaltz and Patrick Kane as of late, only this time Anisimov is playing the wing and it just hasn't been very effective. The trio was on the ice for each of the two 5-on-5 goals the Kings scored on Monday, and Anisimov completely lost his man on the first one.

It's important to establish a consistent left winger for Schmaltz and Kane, and maybe putting Alex DeBrincat up there is something you consider going forward as part of a long-term solution. Move Anisimov back down as the third-line center to play in more of a defensive role and continue using his big body on power plays for his offensive abilities might be the best bet.

3. Win the special teams battle.

In their last meeting against Ottawa on Jan. 9, the Blackhawks went 4-for-6 on the power play and 4-on-4 on the penalty kill in an 8-2 win. And those are two areas to look out for again.

The Senators own the 28th-ranked power play with a 16.1 percent success rate and 29th-ranked penalty kill with a 74.5 percent success rate. Get ready for another offensive outburst?

Podcast: Which Blackhawks could be on the move before trade deadline?

2-19_anisimov_kings_usat.jpg
USA TODAY

Podcast: Which Blackhawks could be on the move before trade deadline?

On the latest Blackhawks Talk Podcast, Adam Burish and Pat Boyle discuss which Blackhawks could be on the trading block and what players are building blocks for the Hawks future.

Burish also shares a couple memorable trade deadline days and his “near” return to the Blackhawks in 2012. Plus, he makes his bold trade deadline prediction for the Hawks.

Listen to the full Blackhawks Talk Podcast right here: