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Blackhawks’ Monday night games are a rarity, but why?

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Chicago’s game on Monday against Anaheim is peculiar in at least one sense.

Chicago Blackhawks v Florida Panthers Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

The Chicago Blackhawks take on the Anaheim Ducks at the United Center on Monday night, which is a bit unusual. It’s just the team’s second Monday game of the season. By the end in April, the Hawks will have played just six of their 82 games on Monday nights.

Here’s the team’s schedule broken down by day.

Monday: 6
Tuesday: 10
Wednesday: 10
Thursday: 17
Friday: 8
Saturday: 20
Sunday: 11

It’s no surprise that Thursday and Saturday are popular days for games. The lack of games on Fridays is a bit surprising, but when you think about how many games are either the day before or after a Friday, you can see why avoiding back-to-backs leads to fewer Friday games.

But those Mondays stand out. And this is nothing new. The past two seasons, the team had even fewer Monday games.

2014-15: 5
2015-16: 4
2016-17: 4
2017-18: 6

What are the NHL’s reasons for avoiding scheduling the Blackhawks on those nights? Part of it could be the presence of Monday Night Football, a formidable rating foe for any sporting event. But the Chicago Bears played just one on Monday this year — Oct. 9 against Minnesota — and hey, guess what? The Blackhawks played that same night against the Maple Leafs.

So it doesn’t really seem to be about avoiding going head-to-head with the NFL, although it’s worth noting that game included a marquee Canadian team in a market that wouldn’t care as much about MNF.

Otherwise what else could it be? Is there less demand for Blackhawks games on the nights directly after weekends? Whatever it is, your Monday nights will usually be free as a Hawks fan this season. I wonder why that is.