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Game Day Hawks vs Canes and Draft Lottery Update

April 14, 2024, 4:27 PM ET [206 Comments]
Zach Jarom
Chicago Blackhawks Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
Tonight the Hawks close out their 2023/24 home schedule as they welcome the Carolina Hurricanes to town. Despite the rough season, the Hawks actually played pretty well at home compared to on the road. Entering tonight's game, they hold a home record of 16-20-4, while nothing to get excited about blows away the road record of 7-31-1. In a season like that, we talk about looking for small moral victories, and I would say that how this team played at home in front of the fans was definitely a moral victory. Despite the bottom of the standings season, Hawks fans still came out in big numbers to support this team (or to watch Connor Bedard). There is no argument that the Bedard effect wasn’t real, as the team saw an 18.9% increase in attendance and average 18,799 fans per game, which comfortably puts them in the top 5 for attendance this season. When the rebuild started, I was interested to see how the “newer” fans would react to this team not being competitive, and I am very happy to see that those who came aboard back in 2009 are still here and support this team.

Now the Hawks have a tough task in front of them if they want to give the fans one more win at home this season as the Hurricanes come to town locked and loaded to make a deep Stanley Cup playoff run. They come into this one with a 7-2-1 record over their last 10 games and are currently on a 4-game win streak. With two games remaining, they still have a chance at picking up the top spot in the Metro as they sit three points behind the Rangers, who will just need one point against the Senators tomorrow to lock down the division title. The Hurricanes, to me, are one of the teams that, while everyone knows they are good, I don’t believe gets the true credit they deserve as a legitimate threat to capture the Stanley Cup. With the great depth on this team and the mix in Freddy Andersen playing out of his mind since returning from injury, it might not be a bad bet to toss a few bucks on the Canes to win it all. The key to them going into the playoffs is staying healthy, which has been a problem in the past, and one player that comes to mind is Andrei Svechnikov, who, whenever it feels like he’s about to show off, goes down with an injury that takes him out of playoff hockey.

The Hawks will not have a morning skate today, so there will not be any lineup news until around 2:30 p.m. central time. The big question about tonight's lineup is: will Frank Nazar make his NHL debut after signing with the team yesterday? According to Ben Pope, Nazar is at the United Center this morning getting acclimated to everything, so hopefully that is a sign he will make the jump. If not tonight, I fully expect him in the lineup as the team hits the road for the final two games of the season in Vegas and LA.

Draft News
The San Jose Sharks have locked down the best odds at winning the 2024 Draft Lottery with their loss last night against the Wild. Taking a look at the standings, the Hawks currently sit at 31st with 51 points, and the Ducks sit at 30th with 57 points. The Ducks have two more games left against the Kings and the Knights, while the Hawks have three left against the Canes, Knights, and Kings. Hawks take the loss tonight; they will clinch the 2nd best odds in the Draft Lottery, but let's be honest, with the remaining schedule, it's all but a guarantee that this team will finish 31st and be guaranteed to draft in the top four this June.

Thats going to be it from me, puck drop is set for 5pm central time and as always, Lets Go Hawks!

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