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Game 81 Preview: Blackhawks at Avalanche

Matchblackhawks_medium Vs_medium Matchavalanche_medium
Chicago Blackhawks
7 MT / 9 ET / 2 GMT
Colorado Avalanche
51-22-7 April 9th, 2010
109 pts Pepsi Center
  94 pts
2nd in West
Denver, CO
8th in West


So, will tonight's meeting be a playoff preview...or something more like a preseason scrimmage? Personally, I'm thinking the latter. While the odds are good that this will be one of the opening round match-ups when the playoffs start on April 14th, I don't think really expect either team to be bringing their "A" game tonight. Nor do I think you'll see much in the way of bad blood developing, as neither team (nor coach) are really big on that sort of thing, but there'll probably be some chippiness.

I could be wrong, but I think tonight will just be a meh game. It'll give us a chance to size up the competition (good lord, is Marion Hossa really the FIFTH leading scorer on this team?) but I don't have a high expectations beyond that.

We do have some recent history as a guide. Back in 2007, the Wild and Avalanche met on the final day of the season. Both teams were already in, although the Avalanche needed a point to move ahead of Calgary in the standings, setting up a playoff match up of...the Wild and the Avalanche. The game was a tad sloppy (73 shots combined) - not exactly playoff hockey. There was some physical play, although the biggest altercation was when Ian Laperriere "assaulted" Marion Gaborik, a play that was overblown even more than the coverage we've given to gentleman Rob Blake.

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