Blackhawks v. Avalanche: Game Preview

The snow fell fast on the Windy City just in time for a Wednesday night “rivalry” matchup between the Chicago Blackhawks and Colorado Avalanche.

Blackhawks edged the Avalanche only once last season 3-1 in COL. (Photo via Blackhawks Facebook)

Blackhawks edged the Avalanche only once last season 3-1 in COL. (Photo via Blackhawks Facebook)

The Avalanche (8-9-4) are the only team left in the Western Conference who have yet to face the unstoppable Blackhawks (20-0-3) who set a franchise record last night with their 10th straight win.  The Avalanche took this matchup series 3-1 last season, which is the only reason I can come up with as to why NBC SportsNet is advertising this as a “rivalry” game.

Colorado hasn’t had an easy time on the road, with only 2 wins away from home this season, they are 5th in their division and 14th in the WC; separated from the Blackhawks by 23 points.

Chicago looks to continue their point streak tonight by doing the same thing they have done all season long, finding ways to win.  Even when down at the start this team has continued to be balanced across their lines and fill the holes to get pucks to the net.

Ray Emery will get the start in goal tonight for the Hawks.  Emery has a spotless record of 9-0-0 with a 0.926 Sv% and 2.02 GAA.

A huge reason the Blackhawks have been able to sustain this incredible streak is their depth, not only in goal, where Head Coach Joel Quenneville has little issue giving the nod to either of his goaltenders, but across the roster.  The 5-3 victory over the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday night was sparked by rookie Brandon Saad’s (4-4-8) fourth goal of the season and energized even further with 2 goals from Bryan Bickell (5-7-12).  Leading goal-scorers Marian Hossa (10-8-18) and Patrick Kane (12-15-27) also had contributing goals for the Hawks.

Fresh off their victory last night, the Blackhawks look to send the Avalanche back to the mountains with their 3rd straight road loss, but regardless of the outcome tonight, both teams will get their chance for a rematch on Friday when the two meet again.

Team Stats:

Team  P P% G/G GA/G PP% PK% S/G SA/G
Blackhawks 43 0.935 3.13 1.78 17.2 88.8 30.7 27.0
Avalanche 20 0.476 2.38 2.90 12.3 77.8 29.2 32.0

 

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