The Avalanche visit the Chicago Blackhawks today. For the first time in a while, I've got the Altitude feed (do the Hawks still refuse to air their home games?). The first sellout in Chicago since the 1997 playoffs (against the Avs). Wow.
For the Avalanche, Brad Richardson was sent down on Friday – a move I'm not particularly thrilled with. I felt Richie was playing well with Ben Guite and Ian Laperriere. David Jones has been recalled.
Theodore against Patrick Lalime tonight…er, today.
20:00 Hensick, Hejduk and Smyth are out to start (I think I saw Lappy out on the wing for the opening draw before making a quick change).
18:32 The Blackhawks have a guy named "Byfuglien". I, of course, am in no position to critique last names…but that's definitely an odd one.
18:26 Wolski, Arnason and Svatos are together as usual.
17:15 It's tough to tell, but it looks like McLeod, Hlinka and Brunette are a line.
16:32 That may be wrong. I think McLeod, Guite and Lappy together, so perhaps it was David Jones I was seeing with Bruno and Hlinka.
15:58 Hensick tapped his stick rigorously to call for a pass, and then the puck bounces over his stick. The miss breaks Havlat in the other direction. Liles hooks Havlat and Theodore makes the save. Liles gets the penalty, putting the Hawks on the PP.
15:12 They score. Wisniewski takes a shot from the point and it beats Theodore. Wisniewski gets credit although it looks like it might have deflected off a stick in front of Theo. Not thrilled with that goal at all.
11:14 That Byfuglien guy just ran over Milan Hejduk. I'm sorry about poking fun at him.
11:02 Fight. Burish and McLeod. Both went down to the ice and then Burish got two huge punches in. McLeod was not at all happy with getting hit while on the ice. Both fellas had a lot to say to each other on the way to the box, and then continued to yell at each other from the box.
7:18 Leopold weaves through traffic on his way to the Chicago net. That was some slick work.
7:02 Q has already dumped Hensick from the Smyth & Hejduk line. Hlinka is out there now. This stuff drives me insane.
6:20 Big pad save by Theodore.
5:52 Nice hit by Jones along the boards.
3:52 The Avs are going on the powerlessplay, their first of the game.
3:50 Liles, Finger (on the right), Hejduk, Smyth and Hensick (who must not know if he's coming or going with the way he's been shuffled around).
2:31 Finger levels Burish. Finger was hurt somehow on the play, though.
1:52 The Arnason line with Leopold and Hannan (finally) formed the 2nd unit. It's the Avs, so we didn't score.
1:29 They'll get another chance. Sharp is going off for slashing Wolski.
1:26 This time it's Liles and Finger (Finger is on the left), Brunette, Hlinka and Hejduk
:35 Five on three coming up. Bullard crosschecked Hlinka. The squad is Smyth, Arnason, Svatos (I think) and Liles and Wolski (!) on the point.
Chicago leads 1-0. The Blackhawks had a lot of the early momentum but the Avalanche came on strong in the 2nd half of the period. Patrick Lalime has made a bunch of good saves to keep the Avs off the board.
Liles was interviewed during the first intermission. In true Altitude non-controversial fashion, no mention at all was made of all the trade speculation surrounding him.
20:00 Still 30 seconds left on the five on three. This should be a better indication of the preferred Quenneville PP unit. Liles and Finger (Finger on the right), Wolski, Svatos and Arnason.
18:39 Yeah, we're just not going to score on the PP.
18:22 Hensick is back with Smyth and Hejduk. I wish a certain someone would make up his frea-Q-ing mind.
17:07 The Hawks take about 27 consecutive shots. Finally Havlat ends the pain by scoring. The Blackhaws are now up 2-0. And much like Legace on Thursday, Lalime seems to be on his game tonight.
16:22 Finger is banging bodies tonight. Unfortunately, he's about the only guy on the Avs doing so.
11:04 Penalty on Guite. Hooking.
7:00 Svatos goes off for a hook. This is not a great way to get back into the game.
2:28 The powerlessplay is coming back. During the break, Altitude shows a promo for Wednesday's game with the Ducks. "Richardson and your Colorado Avalanche are hunting for game." Excellent choice for your promo, guys. I guess Erik Svatos wasn't available.
2:19 Finger (on the right), Liles, Hensick, Brunette and Smyth.
1:21 Hannan is out with the 2nd unit. Someone's been listening…
:44 Of course, he got stuck pinching and it broke the Hawks 3 on 1. Interestingly, Hejduk only got some token ice time on this PP, coming out with just a few seconds left.
2-0 Chicago after two. Things aren't looking promising.
19:40 If Mike Haynes doesn't stop mentioning that shorthanded save by Theodore at the end of the second, I'm going to scream.
18:23 Interference on the Blackhawks
18:07 Finger is on the left.
17:34 The PP is over. Burish goes in shorthanded, and Liles hooks him on the way to the net.
13:12 Did I miss an injury to McLeod? I've noticed Brunette out on the Guite line and can't really recall seeing McLeod since his fight.
10:44 Good defensive play by Skrastins to get his puck on a centering pass.
10:20 Svatos and Skrastins just teamed up to deck Burish. Burish retaliates with a slash on Svatos that doesn’t get called.
9:41 There's McLeod. He's playing with Hlinka and Jones. More fine-tuning of the lines *rolleyes*
6:10 Seabrook going off for a hook. One last gasp for the Avs to get into this game.
5:26 Hensick, Hejduk and Smyth up front, Liles and Hannan on the blueline.
4:17 Jones is getting some PP time. Might as well – he can not score as well as anyone else.
3:23 I doubt I have to mention here that the Avs didn't score. A glorious 0-6 tonight.
2:26 Hlinka scores. McLeod sets him up from behind the net. I think Jones is getting the 2nd assist. The Avs can now lose 2-1 (and thanks to Haynes for mentioning the Theodore shorthanded save AGAIN).
2:03 Okay, tripping call on Byfuglien. This is it. The PP can save us or sink us.
1:47 Liles, Finger, Hejduk, Hensick and Smyth.
1:16 Theo is coming off. Svatos I think is the extra guy.
:32 whistle for the puck going out of play. Facoff will be in the Chicago zone. Time out.
:31 Bruno is one of the six. Smyth. Arnason. Svatos, Wolski. Liles.
:18 Cleared by Chicago.
:08 Cleared again. That's it
The powerlessplay lets us down again. A dismal 0 for 7, including a 5 on 3.
They decide the game isn't over, and put 2.4 seconds back on the clock, with the faceoff outside the blueline. To give you an idea of our chances, McLeod and Lappy are both on the ice. Okay, NOW it's over. Another day, another one-goal regulation loss.
Line report is done. Recap probably won't be until tomorrow...