When Patrick Kane went down, things looked bleak for the Blackhawks. But the schedule makers were good friends to the Hawks when they put together the 2014-15 calendar, and the push for the playoffs could provide Chicago with opportunities to improve.
After the trade deadline on Monday afternoon, the Blackhawks play only five games in 15 days, including only two in six days. And of the games the Blackhawks have on the calendar in March and April, a surprising number of them are against teams not in the playoff mix.
- March 2 – Carolina
- March 6 – Edmonton
- March 12 – @ Arizona
- March 21 – @ Dallas
- March 23 – @ Carolina
- March 25 – @ Philadelphia
- March 27 – Columbus
- April 3 – @ Buffalo
- April 11 – @ Colorado
Of course, the Stars and Avs haven’t been easy games for the Blackhawks over the last couple years and Philly may continue their annual late-season push for a playoff spot. But right now, nine of the Blackhawks 19 games after the trade deadline will be against teams currently not within four points of a playoff spot.
In comparison, March is certainly no cakewalk for the Blues. While they have games against the Flyers (twice), Blue Jackets and Maple Leafs, St. Louis will also have to face Minnesota, Winnipeg and Vancouver twice each. The Blues also have a six-game road trip that includes visits to Minnesota, Winnipeg, Detroit and Pittsburgh.
In March, the Hawks have a number of nice breaks as well. Twice in the first two weeks of the month, Chicago has three full days off between games. And there are three more instances of the Hawks having two full days off between games as well.