Blackhawks Inconsistent Play on the Road Continues

Photo by Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images

Photo by Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images

Chicago has been terrific this season playing at the United Center in front of their home fans, but they have been a different team on the road struggling to win consistently.

Coming off a recent road trip in Canada and California, the Blackhawks came away with a successful road trip going 3-1-2. They returned home to play the Minnesota Wild and took a loss against them. After facing Minnesota the Blackhawks went back to Canada for a one game stint against the Ottawa Senators. Patrick Kane extended his point streak to 21 consecutive games that tied Bobby Hull for the team record, but the team fell to the Senators in overtime losing 4-3.

On the season, Chicago is 8-3 at home and 5-6-3 on the road, according to ESPN.com. Even with the successful circus road trip, the Blackhawks are under .500 on the road.

In October, Chicago played six games on the road. They played in St. Louis, New York, Philadelphia, Washington, Winnipeg and Minnesota. The only game they won in regulation was against the New York Islanders. Chicago finished the month of October with a 1-4 road record but a 6-1 home record.

November was a different story on the road for the Blackhawks. In November they had a winning road record of 4-1-2, along with a 3-2 home record.

Chicago never has a problem playing consistent at home. In 2014-2015, Chicago was 24-12-5 at home, in 2013-2014 they were 27-7-7 at home and the year before that they were 18-3-3 at home, according to NHL.com.

As well in previous seasons, Chicago played consistent on the road putting up winning road records. In 2014-15 they were 24-16-1, in 2013-2014 they were 19-14-8 and the year before they were 18-4-2, according to NHL.com.

There are a lot of decent teams in the Western Conference this season. The top eight teams in the Western Conference include the Dallas Stars, St. Louis Blues, Los Angeles Kings, Nashville Predators, Chicago Blackhawks, Minnesota Wild, San Jose Sharks and Arizona Coyotes. The only team out of those eight I mentioned that has a losing road record is the Chicago Blackhawks, and if the season ended today the Blackhawks would be a Wild Card team.

After their long road trip, the month of December favors the Blackhawks. They play nine games at home and six games on the road. With their consistent play at home, the Blackhawks will have a chance to get themselves out of the Wild Card spot and move up in the Western Conference.

Looking later into the season, in mid-January, the Blackhawks will play six out of eight games on the road to end the month of January. Then going into February, they begin the month playing the Colorado Avalanche, Arizona Coyotes and Dallas Stars on the road. So they will have a span of nine out of eleven games on the road. ‘

If the Blackhawks can put together a consistent stretch of hockey during that road span, I think Chicago will have a chance at holding a top seed in the Western Conference.

There’s still a lot of hockey left to be played, but the inconsistent play on the road of having a losing record of 5-6-3 should be an area the Blackhawks look to improve as the season progresses if they want to have an opportunity of having home-ice in the playoffs.

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