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Game 31 Preview: Colorado Avalanche at Chicago Blackhawks

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The Bang Bang Bus rolls into snowy Chicago tonight as the Avalanche try to sweep a home-and-home against the Chicago Blackhawks. I unfortunately missed much of what I understand is a highly entertaining game on Monday, but I'll definitely try to pay attention to this one. Otherwise, my recap later tonight will be kind of a waste.

Tonight, an Avalanche win could mean several things:

1) the Avs could be back in 1st in the NW (if Vancouver loses to Columbus)

2) the Avs would win their 4th straight

3) the Avs would clinch the season series against the Hawks

4) the Avs could become the first Western Conference team to win 9 games on the road (Phoenix is trying to do the same thing earlier in the evening).

5) the Avs would keep pace with last year's team (game 31 last year was a 3-2 win against Columbus)

6) surely some other stuff that's ultra-important

Of course, a regulation loss would open the Avalanche to getting passed by as many as 5 teams in the standings (Anaheim, San Jose, Chicago, Phoenix and Columbus). So, let's win, okay?

On Tuesday, the Avalanche demoted Kevin Montgomery and David van der Gulik while (finally) recalling Jonas Holos. T.J. Galiardi is making the trip, but will not play. Milan Hejduk is a no-go as well. That makes Holos the only healthy "extra" on the roster. I have a sneaking suspicion that Koci will sit and Sacco will play 7 defensemen again. By my count, the Avs are 4-1-0 when an extra defenseman has dressed. Then again, an Avalanche defender has been injured in 3 of those games, so maybe the whole damn thing is cursed. Just don't hurt the D Cups, okay?

Avalanche vs Blackhawks coverage

Second City Hockey

ChiAvsFan on Twitter (he plans to be tweeting during the game from the press box)