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Bulls, Hawks Head West As Circus Comes to Town

By Benjy Lipsman in News on Nov 16, 2009 6:20PM

2009_11_16_circus.jpg Don't be surprised if our Editor-in-Chief is a little jumpy this week. He's got this silly fear of clowns and the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus comes to town on Wednesday. Taking over the United Center from Nov. 18-29, the "Greatest Show on Earth" once again exiles the Bulls and Blackhawks for their annual "circus trips." The Bulls open their West Coast swing on Tuesday night against the Sacramento Kings, followed by games against the L.A. Lakers, Denver Nuggets, Portland Trailblazers, Utah Jazz and Milwaukee Bucks over the next two weeks before returning to the Madhouse on Madison again. While the team's been able to return to Chicago to celebrate Thanksgiving with family between games, this year the Bulls play the Jazz in Utah on the holiday.

For just the second time since the end of the Jordan Era, the Bulls embark on their "circus trip" with a winning record. After Saturday night's victory over the 76ers, they're 5-4 on the season. Can they return home in two weeks with a winning record? Last year's team wrapped up a seven game road trip with three wins and four losses.

Meanwhile, the Hawks are 12-5-2 after knocking off the San Jose Sharks at the UC on Sunday to finish off a four game home stand 4-0. They now head north of the border for three games against the Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers and Vancouver Canucks before a swing through California for games against San Jose, Anaheim and L.A. The Blackhawks are currently in first place in the Central Division, but can they remain atop the division? Detroit is only three points behind in the standings and they've already had a five game road trip of their own.