After a two game road trip through Ontario, on which they went 1-1-0, the Chicago Blackhawks return home to the United Center tonight to take on the Winnipeg Jets. This is a matchup between two Central Division teams, but that doesn't mean much is on the line. This game should be an opportunity for the Blackhawks to beat up on an inferior foe.
In spite of the game-winning goal coming on a shot he should have had, Corey Crawford looked pretty good in his return to net last night in Toronto. However, with this being the second of back-to-back games, you can probably expect to see Antti Raanta in net tonight. Raanta looked pretty good in the two games he played when Crawford was injured, and even earned a shutout. Hopefully he will be able to continue that, should he be in net tonight.
After a rough night last night, Johnny Oduya is certainly a man to keep an eye on. Two of the Leafs' three goals came off turnovers from Oduya, so tonight represents an opportunity to bounce back and get into good form. Another thing to keep an eye on is what line Andrew Shaw plays on, as he has struggled so far this season centering the second line.
Opponent Breakdown: Winnipeg Jets
The Jets are also on the second game of a back-to-back, coming into this game off a 1-0 shootout victory last night against the New York Rangers, but they were largely outplayed in that game. They come in with a 5-5-1 record, tied with the Colorado Avalanche at the bottom of the Central Division. With a goal differential of -5 so far, they represent a chance for the Blackhawks to really get the offense going.
Through their first 11 games, the Jets have posted a CF% of just 46.27, so we should see the puck on the Blackhawks sticks a lot. Again, another opportunity to finally get the offense going, as more possession and shot attempts creates more chances to get the puck in the back of the net.
The Blackhawks are still without Daniel Carcillo, who is out with a lower-body injury.
Jets winger Anthony Peluso is day-to-day with an upper-body injury.
|BLACKHAWKS VS. Jets LINEUPS
|ALSO SEE: Arctic Ice Hockey, SBN'S Jets BLOG
When: 8:00 p.m. CT
Where: United Center
Follow Second City Hockey on Twitter at @2ndCityHockey and Like us on Facebook. You can follow Adam Hess on Twitter at @FeathersInDaHat.
(Statistics via NHL.com and War On Ice)