It hasn’t escaped the defending champs’ notice that the Blues have taken all three of their games this season and four in a row overall.
“Right now it seems like they have our number this year,” Patrick Kane said, via Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times.
The Blackhawks built three two-goal leads (2-0, 3-1 and 5-3) on Saturday – including bouncing Jaroslav Halak after one period in the process – yet the Blues kept fighting back.
If nothing else, it seems like head coach Joel Quenneville & Co. are embracing a building rivalry.
“Great hockey game, great intensity,” Quenneville said. “It’s good for the sport. Tough for us.”
Things won’t be easy for Chicago (27-7-7, 61 points) in the Central Division or the Western Conference. While the Blues (25-7-5, 55 points) remain reasonably close behind the ‘Hawks, the surging Anaheim Ducks (28-7-5, 61 points) hold tiebreaker advantages over Chicago as of tonight.
Quenneville was talking about a divisional race when he said “I expect to be in a race the whole time” tonight, but it’s probably an accurate portrayal of the battle for seeding overall.