Work will likely be wanted to beat Columbus

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(Photo by Stacy Revere / Getty Images)

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The Chicago Blackhawks play a two-game set with the Columbus Blue Jackets in Columbus this week.

This is a Blue Jackets team that has had a high and low season so far but is spot on for a playoff spot in the Central Division. In fact, the Hawks and Jackets have both played 19 games and are only separated by two table points. This is a huge series of games for every team involved. You can bet teams like the Dallas Stars and Nashville Predators will also be interested in the results.

Columbus made one of the largest trades in the NHL that we have seen in a long time this season. You have sent Pierre-Luc Dubois to the Winnipeg Jets in exchange for Patrik laine and Jack Roslovic. It was a change of scene that was badly needed for Dubois and Laine, who were third and second choices in the same draft. Originally from Columbus, Roslovic is a talented player who ran out of place in Winnipeg but knew he could take the next step if he got good ice cream.

Now a squad trained by John Tortatella will always be competitive. They don’t have to be the most talented team on the ice, but they will work. That has been a big key to Chicago’s success this season so far as Jeremy Colliton makes his guys work hard every night. This is going to be a very close-knit game that should be incredibly entertaining.

If the Hawks win, it will likely depend on Patrick Kane making a particularly sweet game with a good goalkeeper. In addition, they need to continue to be tough on pucks, strong on their own end, and watch their young players do a few games per game. We’ve seen it a lot this season so there’s no reason to believe it can’t go on.

Given the closeness of these two teams in the overall standings, it’s clear that these are big games. The Hawks have exceeded all expectations so far this season so it is almost to be expected that the job will be done. Since their game was canceled on Saturday night, they had an extra day to rest. It was supposed to be a second game against the Carolina Hurricanes, but the NHL forced the Canes to play the Tampa Bay Lightning in a make-up game instead.

That’s probably a good thing because they’ve played a lot of games in a short amount of time this season. If they can get a few points from Columbus here, they’ll feel really good going into the weekend series with the Detroit Red Wings. Both teams are the ones the Hawks have had some success against and continuing to do so would really help.