After a nightmare road trip that was marked by a six game losing streak, the Chicago Blackhawks return to their home ice on Sunday on a two-game winning streak. There they will meet the St. Louis Blues, who have been one of the best teams in the NHL since hiring current head coach Ken Hitchcock earlier this season, and who after winning six of their last seven now sit 10 points ahead of the Blackhawks in the Central Division.
The Blackhawks and their fans are hoping that the bleakness is now behind them. For one, they ended that road trip by defeating the New York Rangers and the Columbus Blue Jackets, which has made it possible to temporarily forget the disastrous six games that preceded those two. They also are getting back to the United Center, where the team is 19-6-4 on the season. The Blackhawks also defeated the Blues by the score of 5-2 in the teams' last meeting, although that match up did take place over two months ago.
Chicago still looks like a sure playoff team, but any road back to the top of the league's toughest division starts today, and the Blackhawks' stars will have to continue to lead the team. Captain Jonathan Toews has done his part of late, tallying two goals and three assists in Chicago's recent consecutive victories. The same goes for Patrick Sharp, who has contributed two goals and two assists.
Game date/time: Sunday, February 19, 2012, 11:30 a.m. CST
Location: United Center, Chicago, IL
Odds: Chicago by 1.5
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 Blues hockey news and information, check out St. Louis Game Time.