Tonight, the Colorado Avalanche aim to extend a couple of winning streaks against the visiting Chicago Blackhawks. Chicago comes into the contest having lost three straight with an overtime loss to the Minnesota Wild in their last game. Colorado has won six straight and a record 15 straight at home.
The Avalanche are, without a doubt, the hottest team in the NHL right now, winning eleven of their last twelve. The one loss came controversially when the Predators were awarded power-play on a more than questionable too-many-men on the ice penalty.
Colorado has also won in various ways along that stretch, winning two games via shootout and three in overtime. In the last five games, the Avalanche also tallied two shutouts and displayed resolve in more than a few comeback victories. Winning in a variety of ways should prove valuable come playoff time when momentum swings make or break teams.
Gabriel Landeskog - Nathan MacKinnon - Mikko Rantanen
Valeri Nichushkin - Nazem Kadri - Andre Burakovsky
Logan O’Connor - Alex Newhook - JT Compher
Nicolas Aube-Kubel - Mikhail Maltsev - Tyson Jost
Devon Toews - Cale Makar
Jack Johnson - Samuel Girard
Kurtis MacDermid - Erik Johnson
Note: Darren Helm, Ryan Murray, and Bowen Byram are all listed as Day-to-Day.
The Blackhawks haven’t been strangers to overtime and shootout hockey as of late, either. Unfortunately for them, they’ve been on the losing side of three of the four such contests. Chicago had a two-goal lead over the Wild on Saturday but could not hold onto it and eventually lost in OT.
The Blackhawks season has been filled with inconsistency, and they find themselves among the league’s lowest point-getters with thirty-seven out of a possible eighty-two points this season.
Marc-Andre Fleury says he is paying no mind to trade rumors, but he is undoubtedly a trade target for multiple teams. The Edmonton Oilers are desperate to change things between the pipes, and Colorado may be a suitor if Sakic thinks he needs an upgrade in net as well.
Brandon Hagel - Dylan Strome - Patrick Kane
Alex Debrincat - Jonathan Toews - Sam Lafferty
Philipp Kurashev - Kirby Dach - Dominik Kubalik
Henrik Borgstrom - Ryan Carpenter - Mackenzie Entwistle
Jake McCabe - Seth Jones
Calvin De Haan - Connor Murphy
Caleb Jones - Erik Gustafsson
Note: The Blackhawks will be without Tyler Johnson and Reese Johnson. Riley Stillman and Jujhar Khaira are listed as Day-to-Day.
It’s safe to assume both teams go with their starters for this divisional showdown, which puts Darcy Kuemper between the pipes for Colorado. Lately, Darcy has turned a corner and looks excellent, posting ten wins in his last thirteen games. He hasn’t allowed more than two goals in his previous three starts.
Marc-Andre Fleury will get the start for the Chicago Blackhawks. Fleury has been solid behind a sub-par team despite being a thirty-seven-year-old. Night after night, he is the Blackhawk’s best player. He comes in with a 2.79 GAA and .913 SV%.