We are still a few months away from the first puck drop of the season. With football and basketball in limbo and Chicago baseball frustrating fans on both sides of town, no time like the present to take a look at the 2011-12 Chicago Blackhawks schedule that was recently released.
If the Blackhawks want to get back to the promised land and avoid barely making the playoffs like they did last year, October has the potential for the Hawks to get off to a great start. Of the eleven games scheduled, seven are at United Center. Some of the key matchups in October include home games against the Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins and the recently relocated Winnipeg Jets. The Hawks also have home and homes against the Dallas Stars and Colorado Avalanche.
A slow start to the season could doom the Hawks. For as home-friendly as October is they are on the road most of November. Thanks in part to the annual circus occupying the United Center, the Hawks will be on the road for 10 out of 14 games. As in years past, most of the trip will be out West including a trip to Vancouver to face the team that ended their previous season.
December is another home heavy month for the Blackhawks. Nine of the thirteen games to end 2011 are at the UC. The Detroit Red Wings will come to town for the first meeting between the two teams this season. The Hawks will also face some Eastern Conference teams they don’t see that often when they travel to Long Island to face the Islanders and to Pittsburgh to face the Penguins.
2012 begins with another nice stretch of home games for the Hawks. In January nine of the 13 games are at home. The Hawks will play Detroit twice in January along with trips to Philadelphia and Vancouver which are two cities that don’t exactly enjoy visits from Chicago.
With all of the home games that the Hawks and their fans will enjoy in December and January you knew another long stretch of road games was bound to happen. That brings us to February. The Hawks will play a nine game road trip over a three-week span that covers the West coast and finishes out East. February could definitely be a make or break month for the Hawks and their chances of making the playoffs.
The Hawks will finish their 2011-2012 season in March and April with a pretty even split between home and away games. Over the last stretch of the season the Blackhawks will have multiple games against St Louis, Minnesota, Nashville and Detroit.
This was a brief look at the schedule of the 2011-2012 Chicago Blackhawks. Hopefully it will continue well into the summer with another Stanley Cup run.