ANAHEIM, CA - NOVEMBER 25: Goaltender Corey Crawford #50 of the Chicago Blackhawks makes a save in the third period against the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center on November 25, 2011 in Anaheim, California. The Blackhawks defeated the Ducks 6-5. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
After splitting their six-game Circus Trip, the Chicago Blackhawks (14-7-3) return come to the United Center to face off with the Phoenix Coyotes (12-7-3) on Tuesday night.
The annual Circus Trip is finally over, and with the Chicago Blackhawks salvaging a 3-3 record on the trip with weekend wins over the Anaheim Ducks and the Los Angeles Kings, the Hawks now return home to play 18 of their next 25 games at the United Center. After the 2-1 win over the Kings, the staff at SB Nation's Chicago Blackhawks blog, Second City Hockey, put the whole Circus Trip into proper perspective:
So the trip ends at 3-3-0. After the Edmonton game two weeks ago that saw Brent Seabrook leave, this was pretty much the consensus as to what would constitute an acceptable trip. But due to the manner in which the Hawks lost in Alberta, it certainly doesn't feel like that. All the trip has done is it's put the Hawks in a position to further entrench themselves in the top half of the west with a home-heavy upcoming December and January schedule, and I suppose that's all you can ask for.
As for the Phoenix Coyotes, they are 6-3-1 in their last 10 games and also 6-3-1 on the road this season, so it won't be an easy one for the Hawks. Keith Yandle has tabbed one goal and five assists in the Coyotes' last five games. The Coyotes have shown great discipline so far this season, averaging just 8.4 minutes in the penalty box per game, which is lowest in the NHL, but the good news for the Hawks is that the Coyotes still allow 32.9 shots per game, among the worst in the league.
Interested in writing for SB Nation's Phoenix Coyotes blog, Five For Howling? Turns out they are looking for more staff writers right now.
Stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago for more information, and for in-depth analysis on the Chicago Blackhawks be sure to visit Second City Hockey. For more Coyotes hockey news and information, be sure to read Five For Howling.