The Chicago Blackhawks haven't fared too well lately. After sitting comfortably atop the Western Conference, Chicago dropped two in a row, going 6-4 in the last ten, and yielded that top spot to Vancouver. Last night's 5-4 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers was particularly tough; the Hawks saw a 2-1 advantage quickly disappear with 3 unanswered goals within 4 minutes. A third period rally could not save them.
The Avalanche, on the other hand, is one of the NHL's hottest teams right now. With an 8-2 record in the last ten games and a three-game winning streak, it's clear things are clicking for the boys. The scoring is coming across the lines, and the goaltending has been rock solid. Needless to say, confidence is high in the locker room.
The Blackhawks will be without Daniel Carcillo tonight as he serves the second of his seven-game suspension for his hit on Tom Gilbert on Monday. Steve Montador and Marcus Kruger are out due to injuries. Unsurprisingly, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane are driving the offense for Chicago lately; both are riding three-game point streaks.
Ryan Wilson joined the Avs on the road trip, but it doesn't look like he'll play. Semyon Varlamov is in net for the burgundy and blue. The two teams have met twice before this season, splitting the decisions with one win apiece.
Chuck Kobasew and Gabriel Landeskog on the team's recent success and facing Chicago: