Beginning on Tuesday at the United Center against the Anaheim Ducks, 11 of the Blackhawks' final 17 games of the regular season will be played on home ice.
After winning their last two games (both on the road), the Hawks are six points out of a playoff spot, with four teams to jump.
On Thursday, Chicago beat the dominant Tampa Bay Lightning by scoring five unanswered goals in the third period. Then, they beat a decent Panthers team 3-2 with shootout heroics from Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane in Sunrise, Florida on Saturday.
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"I think we’ve been playing hard," Blackhawks head coach Jeremy Colliton said of the recent road trip. "We easily could have got a win in Dallas (1-2 loss). I thought we played really well. St. Louis game (6-5 loss), our details weren’t good enough to find a way to close that game out.
"I think the performance was pretty good throughout the road trip. Nice that we did find a way to get the results, come home with some momentum, but now it’s up to us to continue that prior performance tonight.”
The scoring is there, Corey Crawford has been lights out, and Dominik Kubalik is being taken seriously as a Calder Trophy finalist. Those ingredients could make for the miracle run the Hawks need to get back to the postseason after missing it two straight years. Still, it will be a grueling uphill battle.
The Hawks aren't in the best position in the standings and have had trouble putting streaks together, especially at home, this season. Their record splits to 13-13-4 at the United Center and 16-15-4 on the road.
"I think just playing [with] that road mentality we've had the last couple games here at home," Toews said of what Chicago needs to focus on in the home stretch. "I think we can think about a bunch of stretches we've had on the road where we played well, and you come home, and we're just not good enough. I think tonight's a good chance to try and change that trend.”
Toews and the rest of the team know that a lot can happen on a daily basis across the league.
"We're not out of it," Toews said. "So definitely paying attention every day."
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