Scouting Report: Chicago Blackhawks
CALGARY, AB -- The Calgary Flames can expect a grumpy Chicago Blackhawks squad at Scotiabank Saddledome.
The Blackhawks enter Tuesday’s contest having dropped three straight decisions, just the third time the club has done so this season. It won’t make Calgary’s job any easier, though. Their last loss finally pushed Chicago into double-digits in the loss column, the last team in the NHL to hit 10 regulation losses.
This Season: 32-10-12, 76 points (2nd in West
Last Season: 36-7-5, 77 points (1st in West)
Notable Injuries: Goalie Nikolai Khabibulin (torn rotator cuff) is out for the season.
Flames Season Series Record: 1-1-0
Kruger has been finding some offensive consistency in his game of late, recording points in four of his last five games. After recording just 16 points in his first 44 games, the 23-year-old has seven in his past 10. He’s just three points shy of matching his career high set in 71 games during the 2011-12 season.
Though he does have three points in his past three games, Kane has struggled to find consistency of late. The 25-year-old, who played NHL career game No. 500 on Friday, has just five points in his past 10 games and six in his past 13. Despite the stretch, Kane still paces all Blackhawks skaters in points with 59 in just 54 games.
THREE PLAYERS TO WATCH
Keith continues to roll on the back end for the Blackhawks. The Olympian paces all Chicago players with 24:33 of ice time per game while his 46 points lead all Blackhawks blueliners. Keith’s 43 assists in 53 games projects over 82 games to be the highest total accumulated by a defenceman since Brian Leetch’s 70 in 1995-96, too.
Sharp, who will join Keith and Jonathan Toews on Canada’s entry at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, leads all Blackhawks in goals with 26. That figure places him sixth overall in the NHL, while only Alexander Ovechkin has directed more pucks on net. Sharp’s 52 points also slots him 11th league-wide.
Though he was recalled from the Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League on Monday, Pirri has already played 24 games for the Blackhawks this season. The 22-year-old has six goals and five assists in Chicago to go along with 13 points in 16 games with Rockford.