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‘Hawks brace for nine-game, 20-day road trip

Jan 30, 2012, 2:33 PM EDT

Corey Crawford, Jonathan Toews

Starting tomorrow, the Chicago Blackhawks will embark on a historic road trip — nine games in 20 days — which, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, is just the 17th time in NHL history that a team will have a trip of nine games or longer.

More, from ESPN’s Jesse Rogers:

The Hawks have broken up each three-game segment into three different trips. After each one they’ll come home for a change of clothes and a practice before heading back out. It’s sure to test their mettle as well as their 29-15-6 record.

This will be the third time in team history they’ve played nine consecutive games away from home.

The last time they did it was in 1994. They went 4-5 after starting the trip 3-1. Prior to that the only other nine-game trip came in the 1955-1956 season. They also went 4-5.

Let’s take a look at Chicago’s three mini-trips.

Trip 1: Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary

The roadie starts with a bang against rival Vancouver. This matchup promises to be angrier than usual — it’s the first time Dave Bolland will face Daniel and Henrik Sedin since calling them “the sisters” on Chicago radio, which drew the ire of Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault and defenseman Kevin Bieksa.

As for the rest of the trip, it’ll be interesting to see former Canuck and Flame Brendan Morrison face off against his former mates. Morrison was acquired by Chicago over the All-Star break.

Trip 2: Colorado, San Jose, Phoenix

The ‘Hawks play back-to-back against the Sharks and Coyotes — the game in Phoenix will be Chicago’s fifth in eight nights (and all on the road, obviously.) There’s a definite energy/weardown concern for that one, especially since Phoenix beat Chicago in their first two matchups of the season by a combined 8-4 score.

Trip 3: Nashville, New York Rangers, Columbus

Nashville is one of the NHL’s hottest teams right now — the Preds have won nine of their last 10 and are three points back of Detroit for top spot in the league. They’ve also beaten Chicago in back-to-back matchups and are 16-7-3 at Bridgestone Arena this year…so yeah, that’s a tough one for the ‘Hawks.

The Rangers game will be cool as it’s an Original Six matchup and the Columbus contest, while very winnable, is the definition of a trap game.

  1. pittsburghpoonslayer - Jan 30, 2012 at 2:56 PM

    lucky your not playing the pens. automatic loss for u

    • lsxphotog - Jan 30, 2012 at 6:00 PM

      The Penguins aren’t as good as you think…

    • taytay099 - Jan 30, 2012 at 7:29 PM

      Yeah, I heard Ben Lovejoy is ready for his James Norris Trophy.

  2. sknut - Jan 30, 2012 at 4:06 PM

    What is occupying the United Center for 3 weeks? Isn’t the circus trip in November? Thats a doozy of a trip but I think the Hawks should manage just fine.

    • Jason Brough - Jan 30, 2012 at 4:59 PM

      Disney on Ice, then Bulls.

  3. pittsburghpoonslayer - Jan 30, 2012 at 6:34 PM

    oh I do believe they are sir. 7 game win streak. best player in the league right now – malkin. 2nd in goals – james neal. oh and I do remember 2 certain people who will coming back sooner than later. the best player in the world – sid but I’m sure u knew that and our 3rd line center who would be your first line center – staal. I know ur butthole just puckered up merv

    • lsxphotog - Jan 31, 2012 at 11:28 AM

      Your grasp for hockey reality is obviously very clouded.

  4. blomfeld - Jan 30, 2012 at 9:56 PM


    The fact that they’ll go home to “touch base” a couple of times during the trip is going to benefit them greatly psychologically … for were they to have been be away the entire time, then that would have been a completely different story. As it is, they’ll be fine and no doubt they’ll be in the “plus”column for wins when it’s all over. However, their biggest test of the trip is going to be game one here in Vancouver.

    I can report to you people “firsthand” that the Sisters are apparently in a very “agitated” state here at the moment. There were reports yesterday from YVR airport, that both Sedins displayed “aggressive” and “anti-social” behavior upon their arrival back to Vancouver … and there are also reports that several other members of the Canucks have been “brooding” and drinking “excessively” over the weekend ? A friend of mine who works downtown at an upscale bar, said he overheard Alain Vigneult yesterday, spewing out threats and saying that the Black Hawks are “gonna get what’s coming to them !”. I’m not a betting man, but if I was, then I’d put my money on an “OK Corral” styled encounter tomorrow !

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