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Blackhawks week ahead: Chicago hits the road for Circus Trip

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Chicago went 5-1 during last season's West Coast swing, how will they do during the first half of it this season?

Derek Leung/Getty Images

The Chicago Blackhawks start their annual Circus Trip with a three-game set against the northern teams in the Pacific Division: Oilers (Wednesday), Flames (Friday) and Canucks (Saturday). The IceHogs also have a three-game week with divisional games against Grand Rapids (Wednesday), Milwaukee (Friday) and Lake Erie (Sunday).

Let's take a look at the upcoming week in Blackhawks' hockey:

Monday - Off day

There are six games on the schedule, including the Jets in St. Louis. The Atlantic Division features two divisional tilts with the Red Wings visiting the Senators and the Panthers hosting the Lightning.

IceHogs: Idle

Central Division: WPG at STL

Tuesday - Off day

The Wild visit the Igloo in Pittsburgh in a game broadcasted on NBCSN. The Predators hosting the Ducks is the lone game on the eight-game schedule for the night that features two teams from the same conference.

IceHogs: Idle

Central Division: DAL at BUF, STL at CBJ, MIN at PIT, COL at TOR, ANA at NSH

Wednesday - Blackhawks at Oilers at 8:30 p.m. (CSN)

The Blackhawks kick off its Circus Trip with a late night game in Edmonton. The Oilers are still without rookie Connor McDavid, and Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins have been battling illnesses.

There are two other games not the schedule with the Capitals visiting Detroit for NBCSN's "Rivalry Night", and the Jets hosting the Canucks in a Western Conference tilt.

IceHogs: Rockford at Grand Rapids Griffiths (Red Wings) at 6 p.m.

Central Division: VAN at WPG

Thursday - Off day

An offensive show is promised in Washington as the Stars visit the Capitals. Another eight-game night features games all on the East coast with the Sabres in St. Louis as the lone exception. The best Eastern Conference matchup is a rematch of last season's Eastern Conference Final in Tampa with the Rangers in town.

IceHogs: Idle

Central Division action: MIN at BOS, COL at PIT, DAL at WSH, BUF at STL

Friday - Blackhawks at Flames at 8 p.m. (CSN)

Chicago wraps up its swing through Alberta with a trip to Calgary.

There are five other games on the schedule, and again they're all out East aside from the Devils in Edmonton. The Maple Leafs are in Carolina in a game between two of the NHL's worst teams, while the Red Wings host the Kings in an intriguing match-up with both sides preseason favorites to make the playoffs. Montreal is also in Brooklyn.

IceHogs: Rockford at Milwaukee Admirals (Preds) at 7 p.m.

Steel: Bloomington Thunder at Chicago at 7 p.m.

Central Division action: NSH, CBJ

Saturday - Blackhawks at Canucks at 9 p.m. (WGN)

The Blackhawks second back-to-back this season ends in Vancouver. Chicago was swept in its back-to-back in October as they were outscored 7-1 by the Flyers (3-0) and Capitals (4-1). Viktor Tikhonov scored the lone goal during the two-game stretch.

Elsewhere, the Ducks visit the Lightning in a matchup featuring the last two teams the Hawks beat in the 2015 Stanley Cup playoffs. Every team in the Central Division is in action with the Predators in Minnesota as the lone divisional game. The Red Wings are in St. Louis for an old Central rivalry game, while the Stars host the Sabres and the Avalanche face the Capitals on the road.

IceHogs: Idle

Steel: Madison Capitols at Chicago at 7 p.m.

Central Division: COL at WSH, DET at STL, BUF at DAL, NSH at MIN

Sunday - Off day

Three out of the four games on the schedule are interconference games. The Kings visit the Hurricanes, the Sharks are in Columbus and the Devils wrap up its two-game series against the Canucks in Vancouver. The lone conference matchup is in Montreal as they host the Islanders.

IceHogs: Lake Erie Monsters (Blue Jackets) at Rockford at 4 p.m.

Central Division: Idle