Dec 28, 2013, 11:45 PM EDT
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.
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.
- Pressing Question: Can the Blackhawks avoid the Stanley Cup hangover? 3
- Florida wins ’14 NHL draft lottery, will pick first overall 35
- Philly mum on Mason’s availability for Game 1 vs. Rangers 25
- Pressing question: Can the Blues get back on track? 16
- That’s a raise: Flyers sign MacDonald to six-year, $30 million extension 90
- Sabres, Panthers have best odds for 2014 NHL draft lottery 16
- Leafs ‘lack an identity,’ says Leiweke 30
- On the hot seat: McPhee will ‘talk in a couple of days’ 21
- Bruins are 7/2 favorites to win the Stanley Cup; Blues next at 6/1 49
- End of an era: Trotz out as Nashville head coach 40
- That’s a raise: Flyers sign MacDonald to six-year, $30 million extension (90)
- Lightning’s Malone arrested for DUI, cocaine possession (73)
- Update: Daniel Sedin in stable condition, hospitalized after scary hit (58)
- Halak’s agent ‘bewildered’ by Oates’ remarks prior to Blues game (51)
- Here’s the schedule for the first round of the 2014 playoffs (51)