There’s no way around it, the first month of the Blackhawks 2021-22 season has been nothing short of a train wreck, both on and off the ice. After an abysmal 0-6-2 start, Chicago has one more opportunity to escape October with a victory, when they play the Blues on Saturday evening at the Enterprise Center in St. Louis.
On the other side of the fence, the Blues have been the story of the year thus far, with a surprisingly hot 5-1 start to their season. St. Louis has been lead by an offense firing on all cylinders, averaging 4.83 goals per game. The Blues attack runs through 23-year-old center Jordan Kyrou who leads the team with 9 points (2 G, 7A). Wingers Vladimir Tarasenko and David Perron lead the goal-scoring charge with 8 points a piece.
While the Blues have been finding the back of the net seemingly at will, their blue line has not been as consistent. As skaters have been more than capable to put shots on net against the Blues, net minder Jordan Binnington — Saturday’s projected starter — has allowed three or more goals in four out of his five starts.
Although St. Louis employs plenty of fire power, center Oskar Sundqvist is ruled out of Saturday’s contest with a knee injury. In addition, former Conn Smythe Trophy winner Ryan O’Reilly and our old pal Brandon Saad are day-to-day due to COVID-19 protocol.
As for the Blackhawks, their lineup looks mostly the same as Friday night’s, with Patrick Kane, Jujhar Khaira and Riley Stillman all remaining day-to-day in COVID-19 Protocol. Coach Jeremy Colliton will likely shake things up in net as Marc-Andre Fleury looks to be the starter for the Hawks on Saturday night.
There’s really not much more to pick apart at this point. The Blackhawks set a record for time into a season without a lead. In their last two games, they proved to be unable to hold a lead. They have to find a way to turn this ship around or its going to be a long, cold Chicago winter for the West side hockey club.
Tale of the Tape
Blackhawks — Statistic — Blues (numbers from last season)
45.85% (30th) — 5-on-5 Corsi For — 47.71% (24th)
43.96% (31st) — 5-on-5 Expected goals for — 46.09% (25th)
2.84 (16th) — Goals per game — 2.98 (13th)
3.29 (24th) — Goals against per game — 2.98 (13th)
46.9% (27th) — Faceoffs — 53.3% (4th)
21.7% (11th) — Power play — 23.2% (6th)
76.8% (28th) — Penalty kill — 77.8% (25th)
Projected lineups (subject to change)
Hagel — Toews — Carpenter
T. Johnson — Dach — Kubalik
Debrincat— Kurashev — Hardman
Gaudette — Entwistle— R. Johnson
de Haan — Jones
McCabe — Murphy
Gustafsson — Phillips
Kyrou — Schenn — Perron
Neal — Bozak — Buchnevich
Barbashev —Thomas — Tarasenko
Kostin — Joshua — Clifford
Scandella — Parayko
Krug — Faulk
Walman — Bortuzzo
How to watch
When: 7 p.m. CT
Where: Enterprise Arena, St. Louis
TV: NBC Sports Chicago
Live stream: ESPN+