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Blues at Blackhawks Preview: The best and least of the Central square off

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The Blues can continue their regular season win streak against the Hawks tonight.

NHL: St. Louis Blues at Chicago Blackhawks David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Right now, it looks like the Central Division is a two-horse race between the Blues and the Colorado Avalanche. The Blackhawks are in 7th place with 70 points, 20 behind the Blues. They’re still two games above .500, and have proven to be threatening to the Blues so far this season.

By threatening, I mean “have built a lead and then lost it in spectacular fashion to the Blues.” The Blues are ahead in the season series 3-0, and could sweep the series tonight for the first time in history. The Blackhaws lost 2-1 to the Red Wings Friday night, knocking them six points out of the wild card spot. The fact that their name is still brought up in the same sentence as “wild card” shows two things: one, the West isn’t as strong as it could be and two, the Hawks aren’t bad, they’re just not good.

The Blues lost 4-2 to the New Jersey Devils on Friday night, and the word that most describes the game is “lost.” They didn’t look focused, couldn’t pull the trigger on scoring chances, and generally did not click. A game against their long-time rival should bring the clicking out, especially for Brayden Schenn, who has 12 points in his last ten games against the Hawks. On the other hand, there’re the usual suspects of Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane to deal with - the Blues have allowed Toews to run roughshod over them in the faceoff circle this season, and several of those faceoffs that Toews won led to goals in the last time these two teams met on February 25th.

Tonight’s game isn’t going to be an easy one for the Blues; the Hawks have been playing with a lot of pride going down the stretch. Finishing off the season series with a win will help keep the pace with the Avalanche, who are playing the San Jose Sharks tonight.