Hawks: Getting cooking at home | Bleader

Hawks: Getting cooking at home


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  • Matt Lilek/Wikimedia Commons
Now is the time for the Blackhawks to make hay at home. After their extended circus trip in November, they're still at a deficit in home games, as they play their 15th home game in 32 contests tonight against the Anaheim Ducks. They've actually won more games on the road (ten) than at home (nine). Yet they're about to play the next seven of eight, 11 of 13, and 14 of 17 at the United Center, giving them a chance to retake the league lead in points—if they perform up to expectations at home, which for all their success has been a problem.

The Hawks have outright lost only two games at home this season. (The National Hockey League gives teams credit for a tie if they lose in overtime or an ensuing shootout.) Yet their last two home wins had to be salvaged in extra time, and sandwiched in between was a shootout loss to Phoenix in which they had to come from a 3-0 deficit to tie it. That came after they really stank up the joint against the Coyotes in their return home from the circus trip.

The Hawks have certainly seemed to be more focused on the road of late, and coach Joel Quenneville was asked after this morning's pregame skate if that was a problem. "I'm not sure. I think we've had good stretches at starts of games. The last game had a great third period," he said. "It seems like you're always in a better spot when you get off to a better start. It seems like the road games happen to be better in that area. I think there's always a point in time at home when we get going. But I'd certainly like a better start."

So the pressure's on—i.e., on Jim Cornelison and the Hawks' fans to fire up the team with their raucous rendition of the national anthem. Anaheim is one of the lesser teams in the league, so it should be like shooting Ducks on the wing—at least to start.

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