Blackhawks week ahead: Circus Trip begins

Chicago starts its annual West Coast swing with a three-game trip through Canada.

The Chicago Blackhawks drop the puck on their annual Circus Trip this week. Chicago plays three of the four Western Canada teams in the first week of their trip. The Hawks start Tuesday with a trip to Jonathan Toews’ hometown in Winnipeg before a back-to-back Friday and Saturday in Calgary and Vancouver, respectively.

Let's take a look at the upcoming week in Blackhawks' hockey (all times Central):

Monday - Off day

Tampa Bay visiting Brooklyn to face off against the Islanders is the lone game on the schedule.

IceHogs: Idle

Central Division: Idle

Tuesday - Blackhawks at Jets, 7 p.m. (CSNC)

Chicago starts its Circus Trip with its first of five season meetings against Winnipeg. The Hawks went 4-1 last season against the Jets, with its only loss coming in Winnipeg in the 10th game of the season. It’ll also be the first of many matchups between Patrick Kane and Patrik Laine, the Jets’ second overall pick in this year’s draft.

Around the NHL: OTT at PHI, SJ at CAR, WSH at CBJ, FLA at MTL, TB at DET, NYR at VAN, EDM at ANA

IceHogs: Idle

Central Division: NSH at TOR, BUF at STL, CGY at MINN, NJ at DAL, LAK at COL

Wednesday - Off Day

There are two games on tap with Sidney Crosby and the Penguins visiting Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals. It’s a game with a familiar storyline fans have become wary of: Crosby vs. Ovechkin on NBCSN’s “Rivalry Night.” The second game features lots of promising young talent with Calgary hosting Arizona.

IceHogs: Rockford at Iowa (Wild), 4 p.m.

Central Division: Idle

Thursday - Off day

San Jose and St. Louis face off in a rematch of last spring’s Western Conference Final. The Sharks outscored the Blues 11-5 in three games at Scottrade Center during the series, which they took in six games. Milan Lucic returns to Los Angeles for the first since signing a seven-year, $42 million contract with Edmonton. Lucic only played one season in Los Angeles, but it’s noteworthy nonetheless.

Around the NHL: TB at BUF, FLA at TOR, ARI at VAN, NJ at ANA, EDM at LAK

IceHogs: Idle

Central Division: WPG at PHI, NSH at OTT, SJ at STL, BOS at MINN, COL at DAL

Friday - Blackhawks at Calgary, 8 p.m. (CSNC)

The Hawks and Flames meet in the rubber match of their three-game season series. Calgary won the first contest 3-2 then Chicago answered with a 5-1 victory just seven days later. Kane scored a goal in each game and had a goal and two assists in Chicago’s win. Artem Anisimov and Artemi Panarin each have a goal and assist against the Flames this season.

Around the NHL: PITT at NYI, DET at WSH, NYR at CBJ, MTL at CAR

IceHogs: Idle

Central Division: WPG at DET, DAL at EDM, WPG at COL

Saturday - Blackhawks at Canucks, 9 p.m. (CSNC)

The Hawks pass on heading north to Edmonton to complete the Alberta swing and make their way to Vancouver to play the Canucks in a back-to-back. It’s the first of three meetings against Vancouver this season. The Sedin brothers dominated the Hawks last season in Vancouver as Daniel Sedin scored a hat trick, all three of his goals were set up his twin brother, Henrik Sedin, who had a goal and four assists.

Around the NHL: TB at PHI, NJ at LAK, PIT at BUF, TOR at MTL, FLA at OTT, SJ at ARI

IceHogs: Rockford hosts Texas (Stars), 7 p.m.

Central Division: EDM at DAL, WPG at BOS, NSH at STL, COL at MINN

Sunday - Off day

The Freeway Faceoff with Los Angeles in Anaheim highlights the five-game slate. Calgary is in Detroit on NHL Network.

Around the NHL: CBJ at WSH, FLA at NYR, CGY at DET, LAK at ANA

IceHogs: Idle

Central Division: WPG at CAR