Beyond The Benches

Blackhawks Top Five Toughest Places To Play

The Blackhawks posted a 41-21-15 record last season, which was good enough for a third place finish in the Central Division. On the road Chicago went 19-14-8. Playing in the Western Conference means traveling to places like Los Angeles, Anaheim and Colorado on a regular basis, which isn’t an easy task. To win on the road teams need to be extremely focused on the game, not letting crowd noise or anything else become a distraction. The 2014-15 regular season schedules are out and I will be counting down the top five toughest places the Chicago Blackhawks will have to play this upcoming season.

5. TD Garden, Boston.

The Blackhawks only have to make one trip to Boston next season on December 11th but one trip is enough when you have to play in front of 17,500 dye-hard Bruins fans who are still upset with the way the 2013 Stanly Cup Finals ended. The Bruins are one of the best teams in the NHL, winning the President’s Trophy last season. When you partner that with a bitter crowd that loves to hate their opponent it makes for a very difficult place to play.

4. Scottrade Center, St. Louis.

St. Louis is a NHL Central Division rival of the Blackhawks and whenever these two teams meet the fans get extra loud. In the upcoming season the Blackhawks will travel to St. Louis three times in October, February and April. When Chicago made the trip down to St. Louis last season they were met by 20,082 Blues fans that were elevating the noise levels inside the arena all night, making it hard for players to concentrate. Expect the same turnout this season.

3. Honda Center, Anaheim.

In January the Blackhawks have to travel to Pittsburgh to play the Penguins and then travel cross country to play L.A., Anaheim and San Jose. Nobody likes having to make cross country flights to play, especially when one of those games is in Anaheim. The Honda Center holds about 17,500 fans and you ca bet it will be fully packed come late January when the Blackhawks come to town.

2. Staples Center, Los Angeles.

The game before the Blackhawks make their way to the Honda Center they must stop by L.A. to take on the defending Stanly Cup champions in the Staples Center. The Kings will be giving Chicago all they can handle on the ice and the fans will be trying their best to get into the players heads off of it. The Staples Center holds 18,118 fans and it was filled to capacity last season when the Blackhawks stopped by.

1. Joe Louis Arena, Detroit.

The Chicago Blackhawks and the Detroit Red Wings have a rivalry that dates back to the beginning of the NHL when these two original six teams first started going at it. Now, with the Red Wings in the Eastern Conference the teams don’t meet as often, but the Blackhawks will still be making one trip to Detroit in November. Seeing the Blackhawks come to town is sure to re-ignite the hatred the Red Wing fans have for Chicago. Joe Louis Arena holds around 20,000 fans and it will be packed to capacity when the Blackhawks come to town.