(Dale MacMillan, Getty Images)

The Blackhawks’ annual Circus Trip made Barnum and Bailey’s act look as entertaining as a trapeze artist with no arms.

The two-week jaunt had everything. They curb-stomped rival Vancouver 5-1, looked like an AHL team while getting outscored 14-4 in Alberta, partied in Vegas before it got better with a tough 1-0 loss in San Jose on Blackout Wednesday, then ended well with edge-of-your-seat, back-to-back victories in the Golden State.

The unpredictability of sports is what constantly draws fans in, and this last trip exhausted most every emotion possible while watching this ‘Hawks team.

Coming out of it 3-3-0 is what most of us hoped, even if Brent Seabrook was healthy for all of it. Chalk that up as a victory, despite the fact two of the three losses were as ugly as a bearded lady.

Take the six points. Move on. There’s plenty more next month to get crazy over. And yes, I realize there’s still one more game left in November, but when have we ever stopped looking ahead?

The Calgary and Edmonton games make it hard to believe this Blackhawks team sits atop the Western Conference, though Friday and Saturday proved exactly why that’s the case. Now, they’re in solid position to pick up points on the pack with a favorable upcoming schedule.

Following Tuesday’s home date with Phoenix, the ‘Hawks play nine of their 13 games in December at the United Center, where they are 7-1-2 heading into the contest with the Desert Dogs.

Being on top puts the Blackhawks in position to move even further ahead, with nine games against the West during the month, including seven of them at home.  Phoenix, San Jose, Anahiem, Calgary, Columbus, L.A. and Detroit all visit the U.C. during the month.

In addition, the ‘Hawks face the Eastern Conference-worst New York Islanders twice (Dec. 1 at home, Dec. 8 on Long Island) with a chance to earn four easy points.

There are some blips on the schedule, however. After the home game with the Isles, the ‘Hawks travel to St. Louis the next night. They looked like dog shit in a 3-0 loss there Nov. 8 in Ken Hitchcock’s return to the bench and have lost four of the last five games at the Whatever the Hell They’re Calling it Now Arena Stadium Place.

A back-to-back against Pittsburgh (road) and Montreal (home) on Dec. 20 and 21 doesn’t exactly tickle me, either. Though it would be nice if Sidney Crosby had enough ball hair to actually suit up against the Blackhawks since facing a Jonathan Toews-less and Patrick Kane-less team Feb. 14, 2007, a jaunt to Pittsburgh isn’t going to be fun when the Canadiens await the next night.

Some December trends to keep an eye on:

♦   Toews has 53 career points in 50 December games, which is the second-most points he’s scored in any month. He has 61 points in January, though he’s played 12 more games in that month. This seems to be the time Toews really turns it on. As if he’s not already that fucking good.

♦   Kane is a point-per-game player in December, scoring 43 points in 43 career games. It is exceptionally important he and the Blackhawks have a solid month, as Kane seems to go into a swoon after January 1. He has 36 career points in January – worst of any month other than a shortened April – along with a minus-14 rating.

♦   In contrast, December is Marian Hossa’s worst month – 112 points in 155 games.

♦   Since 2008-09, the ‘Hawks have owned December, going 27-10-3 and outscoring opponents 131-85. The 131 goals and 27 wins are their most in any month during that span.

♦   Additionally, the Blackhawks are 19-4-0 at the United Center in December since 2008-09.

Time to pull ahead of the pack, boys.

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