It wasn’t as easy as their win-loss records would indicate, but the Chicago Blackhawks still managed to take two points against the Buffalo Sabres via a 2-1 win on Sunday.
The Blackhawks are in a dogfight for playoff seeding with some strong Western Conference teams. In fact, with the St. Louis Blues still in action against the Minnesota Wild, it would be wiser to wait until after that game is over to ruminate upon Chicago’s 90 standings points.
Still, dropping a game like this would be regrettable for Chicago, but Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews wouldn’t let that happen.
Things truly get interesting going forward for Chicago. As the second-ranked team in the Central Division, they’ll go on the road to try to fatten their lead over the Avalanche in Colorado. The Avs are currently three points behind the ‘Hawks.
After that, the Blackhawks aim to lap up in the best remaining stretch of their season with six of their next seven contests coming in Chicago.
In other words, they aren’t leading the Central Division or the Western Conference as of this writing, but it would be foolish to count them out.
It’s going to be interesting to see if Hammond can replicate the success he had last season, when he came out of nowhere to go 20-1-2 with a 1.79 GAA and .941 save percentage, and finish seventh in Vezina voting.