Blackhawks-Flames: Home Cooking or Burn Out?
After a stunningly dominant win in Columbus on Thursday night, Friday presents another opportunity for the Blackhawks to win a game at home.
And they should. But will they?
Remember our preview of Thursday night’s game? It was a laundry list of what the Blackhawks could do against what the Jackets couldn’t, finished with a harsh look at the Hawks’ special teams.
Well, to quote Whitesnake, here I go again.
The Flames are 6-7-1, and their 13 points are tied with Anaheim for the worst non-Columbus total in the Western Conference. Meanwhile the Blackhawks are now 9-4-3, and their 21 points are the second-highest total in the conference.
The Flames are scoring 2.14 goals per game, which ranks 28th in the NHL. The Blackhawks raised their average to 3.13 on Thursday night, and now rank fourth in the NHL in scoring per game.
Calgary is allowing 2.50 goals per game, which ranks 12th in the NHL. Chicago is allowing 2.88 goals per game, which ranks 20th in the league.
The Flames come into Friday night’s action with the 18th ranked penalty kill, and will be facing the now-28th ranked Blackhawks power play. On the other side, the Flames’ 21st ranked power play will face the Blackhawks 23rd ranked penalty kill.
Fans should pay special attention to the second period on Friday night.
The Blackhawks have been, offensively, their best in the second, scoring 20 goals in the middle frame this year so far. Only San Jose (23) has scored more goals in the second period than Chicago so far. The Flames set up perfectly for the Hawks to take advantage, having allowed more goals in the second period, 13, than in the first or third.
Calgary, meanwhile, has been their worst in the second period. They have only scored seven goals in 14 games, by far their worst period to date. However, the Blackhawks have allowed an NHL-worst 25 goals in the second.
Last year, Jarome Iginla dominated the Blackhawks. He was plus-one, scored five goals and added three assists in only four games. However, in the previous two seasons he combined to post only six points (one goal, five assists) and was minus-15 in eight games.
Over the last three years, however, Patrick Kane has owned the Flames consistently each year. In 10 games over those three seasons, Kane has 16 points (eight goals, eight assists) and is is plus-nine. Jonathan Toews has also been effective against the Flames in the last three seasons, posting 10 points (four goals, six assists) and a plus-five rating.