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Colorado Avalanche Game Day: Everyone has a broken goalie or two

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Unfortunately, the Chicago Blackhawks didn’t bring the accountant with them.

NHL: Colorado Avalanche at Chicago Blackhawks
Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews (19) catches a puck then drops it as Colorado Avalanche left wing J.T. Compher (37) and Colorado Avalanche goaltender Semyon Varlamov (1) defend during the second period at United Center. 
Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

The bad news, the Colorado lost on Wednesday night and remain out of a playoff spot. The good news, the Anaheim Ducks and Dallas Stars also lost so we didn’t lose any ground in the process. Tonight, the Avs face the Chicago Blackhawks, a team that is coming off a cinderella night against the Winnipeg Jets where they had emergency goaltender Scott Foster post a shutout in the third period for the win.

This game is the same as the last game, a must-win. The Avs get a second chance to pull themselves back into a Western Conference Wild Card position. Going into tonight’s game, the Avalanche remain a point being both St. Louis and Anaheim. They are three back of the LA Kings who might fall to a Wild Card spot if Anaheim beats them tonight.

We play Chicago, St. Louis plays Vegas, and Anaheim and LA play each other.


Colorado Avalanche

The last time the Avalanche scored more than one hockey goal (shootouts don’t count, don’t @ me) it was in a 5-1 win over the same Chicago Blackhawks they play tonight. That was 10 days and four games ago. Since then, the Avalanche have picked up only one point out of a possible eight. Hopefully a familiar face will reignite the offense.

Nathan MacKinnon has slowed incredibly since his two-assist night against Chicago last time, he has one secondary assist in the four games since. The Avs got out-shot and out-chanced for the majority of the Flyers game, only at the end did the team turn it on and push the shot ratio back in their favour.

It has become a bit of a pattern with this team, they play a mediocre game for two periods only to have to turn it on in the third when opposing teams crawl into a turtle shell. It happened with the Flyers, it happened with the Golden Knights on the road. Starts like this can’t happen and it’s killing the team.

5v5 shot attempts +/- over time
Natural Stat Trick

The rookie line of Tyson Jost, J.T. Compher and Alexander Kerfoot looked really good in the first period against Vegas, but beyond that, this team simply isn’t generating enough quality scoring chances. The defense is doing enough to give the team a chance to win, now the forwards need to carry their load.

Projected Lineup:

Forwards

Gabriel Landeskog - Nathan MacKinnon - Mikko Rantanen

Tyson Jost - J.T. Compher - Alexander Kerfoot

Matt Nieto - Carl Soderberg - Blake Comeau

Gabriel Bourque - Sven Andrighetto - Dominic Toninato

Defense

Nikita Zadorov - Tyson Barrie

Patrik Nemeth - Erik Johnson

Samuel Girard - Mark Alt


Chicago Blackhawks

So, does anyone know who’s playing goal for Chicago?

According to our friends at Second City Hockey, Collin Delia (who exists?) should be healthy enough to get the start tonight with Jean-Francois Berube getting the call-up to be the spare. Scott Foster is unavailable to play because he has an actual job as an accountant that he has to do. [Second City Hockey]

Berube and Delia will be Chicago’s goalies, while Jeff Glass and the recently-promoted Matt Tompkins will handle things in Rockford, as the IceHogs continue to fight for a playoff spot.

No word yet on whether or not Foster’s boss at his accounting firm would allow him the day off to travel with the Hawks to Colorado. Just in case.

The Hawks are coming off a night where they put up six goals on the Winnipeg Jets, and despite being a shell of their former Cup-winning selves, have been getting production out of their stars, depth players, and with a few kids chipping in to boot. Patrick Kane and Brandon Saad both had goals in the game, Tomas Jurco scored twice, and in his first NHL game “highly-touted prospect” Dylan Sikura notched two assists including a pretty one on Alex DeBrincat’s goal.

The season is over for the Hawks but they still play a decent game, one that has encouaged Scotty Bowman to believe they still have one more Cup run in them.

Projected Lineup:

Forwards

Brandon Saad - Nick Schmaltz - Patrick Kane

Alex DeBrincat - Victor Ejdsell - Dylan Sikura

Tomas Jurco - Artem Anisimov - Andreas Martinsen

Patrick Sharp - David Kampf - Vinnie Hinostroza

Defense

Duncan Keith - Brent Seabrook

Connor Murphy - Erik Gustafsson

Jordan Oesterle - Jan Rutta


Starting Goalies

Semyon Varlomov appears to be feeling better from the illness he suffered before the Philadelphia game and Jonathan Bernier appears to be healed from the cut that got infected in his hand. The Avs need these two goalies to be in the lineup and playing well, hopefully the first box gets ticked before the game and the second gets ticked after.

Corey Crawford is not playing for the rest of the season, Anton Forsberg is currently in a walking boot, and despite injuring himself one night ago, Collin Delia is going to get his second NHL start...ever.

JF Berube is right there, guys, he’s right there and ready to play! Please, just don’t break the kid.