The Blackhawks can't afford stretches similar to the ones they went through last season. In '07-'08 the Hawks had four losing streaks of four games or more, including a season-killing eight game skid in December and January.
Currently, the Hawks are on a three game losing streak on the tail end of the circus trip. Things won't get any easier in the next couple of games either. The Ducks will come to the United Center tonight and the Hawks travel to Detroit Saturday.
These are two teams you don't want to play when you're losing. Both will limit your shots and wait for a mistake, then go for the kill. Chicago will need to bring focus, confidence, and may need to mix it up with a couple of fights in the next couple of games.
A key factor in the three losses has been the injury to Nikolai Khabibulin. Bulin was on a three game winning streak before the recent skid started. Huet has been in net for all three losses and will be back in net tonight against Anaheim. Huet was solid against the Ducks last Friday though, in a 1-0 loss out West.
The game starts at 7:30 tonight, so if you don't feel like watching the Big Ten get demolished by the ACC tonight, head over to the United Center.
Also, last week NBC debuted its first promotional spot for the Winter Classic. This is possibly the best job NBC has done promoting the NHL since it took over covering hockey. Here is the commercial, via Puck Daddy and NHL.com. Well, apparently the NHL still has problems with things like keeping their website up and running, so I'll have the video soon. Hopefully.