Updated December 13, 2019 12:16:13After a thrilling comeback win over the Sharks, the Hawks and their fans are in for a surprise when they return to their home ground in the form of the Vancouver Canucks.
The Hawks are a good bet to win the game on Friday night when they host the Rangers, but the best chance to see them play the same team that beat them in last year’s finals will be the first game at the CenturyLink Center.
The Rangers won’t be on the court for the first time since the team’s first-round exit at the hands of the Hawks in 2017.
The Canucks are a very different team from the ones that upset the Hawks last season.
The Canucks, who are led by the likes of Jannik Hansen and Ben Hutton, are without injured captain Henrik Sedin, who is also battling a groin injury.
The first-time visitors will have a new coach in Mike Gillis, who was promoted to head coach this season.
The team is also without leading scorer Jannick Weber, who missed a total of 16 games last season due to a knee injury.
Coach Mike Babcock has been working with the Canucks in his first season as an NHL head coach, which will make it interesting to see how he handles this game.
The best bet for the Hawks is for them to come out hot early and win the first two periods.
The Hawks have played the Canucks the past three times, winning two games in the process.
The first two will be decided in the second period.
The game will be broadcast live on the NHL Network, with live scores provided by Hockey Night in Canada.
The Hawks will also be in the market for some extra gear when they visit the city of Seattle on December 15.
The teams play each other in front of a sellout crowd at CenturyLink Arena, with the Hawks hoping for a repeat of their second-round win over Vancouver.
“We want to make sure that we come out with a positive mindset,” said Hawks head coach Jeff Blashill.
“We are really excited to be playing a new team, a different team that we haven’t seen before.
We’ve got to go out there and we have to play our game.
We’re going to try to be a lot more physical in the first period.”
After a strong start, the Canucks are currently on a seven-game losing streak, which includes a 3-1 defeat to the Kings on Sunday.
However, the loss to the Sharks is not the first blow to Vancouver’s chances at making the playoffs, as they are tied with the Oilers for the third-worst record in the NHL.
The biggest question mark for the Canucks is what kind of shape their team is in right now.
They are sitting three points out of a playoff spot, but have lost three straight.
The biggest blow to the Canucks was when they were knocked out of the playoffs by the Sharks.
This is their first chance to make a run at a playoff berth, so Blashil has to be cautious about how he responds to the challenge.
There are some players that will likely take the Canucks to the limit in the final stretch.
They will have to find a way to stop the Sedins and get some stops in front.
After being shutout twice in their first two games, the Sharks have now lost three consecutive games.
It will be interesting to watch how the Hawks handle the Canucks on Friday.
While they have been very aggressive in the early going, the Blackhawks have been far more cautious in the last couple of games.
This is a very dangerous team that has been able to keep the pressure on and play with purpose.
Babcock has a good understanding of how to handle this game and how to get his team out of their own way.
As for Blashills coaching record, he has a 9-1 record with the Vancouver Giants and the Canucks.
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