A daily feature which asks the five hardest-hitting questions imaginable about this day in the NHL. Will our quandaries be answered? (That doesn't count as one of our questions.)
1. Will the Chicago Blackhawks extend their 15-game point streak to 16 games?
This is the No. 1 question in the NHL right now and not just because we've written multiple stories about it. The Blackhawks have managed to jump out to a 12-0-3 record in the first 15 games of the regular season. That means they: A.) Have been awesome, B.) Have registered points in every game this season and C.) Have yet to lose in regulation. If they can manage to either defeat the Vancouver Canucks or force overtime on Tuesday night, the Blackhawks will tie the 2006-07 Anaheim Ducks as the only teams in NHL history to go 16 games to start a season without a regulation loss.
2. Will the San Jose Sharks register their first win in February?
Much like the Blackhawks, the Sharks started the year on fire. Winning all seven of their games in January, many believed the Sharks were poised for a dominating run. Then February happened. What followed was seven consecutive games without registering a win (0-4-3) and five performances where the team failed to score more than two goals.
Luckily, they might have caught a break with Question No. 3.
3. Will the St. Louis Blues' travel complications affect their play on Tuesday night?
The Blues managed to earn a shootout win against the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday night. The team was scheduled to leave Vancouver on Monday around noon time in St. Louis. They ended up arriving in St. Louis at 6:30 a.m. on Tuesday.
In total, the club spent over 15 hours in Vancouver's airport waiting for their airline to receive a replacement part for their plane. This forced the team to alter their regular schedule and cancel morning skate. Hockey players, like most professional athletes, are notorious for routine. They also, like most people, hate sitting in airports for 15 hours.
Will this impact their play against the Sharks on Tuesday night?
4. Will Ben Scrivens and the Toronto Maple Leafs keep their shutout streak going?
Currently standing at two games, the Scrivens-backed Leafs have recorded consecutive 3-0 shutouts in their last two contests. While asking if the Leafs will win three straight games by a 3-0 final score might be overstepping our bounds a bit, asking for a third straight shutout doesn't seem too far out of the realm of possibility.
Of course, they will attempt to do so against one of the NHL's top-scoring teams, the Tampa Bay Lightning, who are averaging 3.93 goals per game this season.
5. Will the Montreal Canadiens extend their winning streak to five games?
Heading into the 2013 season, many expected the Boston Bruins to run away with the Northeast Division. While the club has jumped out to an impressive start, the Montreal Canadiens enter Tuesday night as the top team in the Northeast (with a few games in hand, but who's counting?). The Canadiens have won 10 games this season and have registered points in 11 of their 15 contests. Riding a four-game winning streak into Madison Square Garden on Tuesday, will the Habs extend the streak to five against the New York Rangers?