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Preview: Homecoming hosting the Hawks

The Avalanche come home undefeated and looking to keep it that way.

Chicago Blackhawks v Colorado Avalanche Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images

Finally, the Colorado Avalanche have returned to Denver.

After starting their season on a three-game West Coast road trip, the Avs will come home to what should be a rowdy crowd in Ball Arena for the first time this season. It will also see them face their first Central Division opponent in the Chicago Blackhawks.

Of course, there are plenty of storylines coming into this game which many will be keen to watch with their eyes on national TV. Let’s go over them, shall we?

Colorado Avalanche

The Avs are coming off an impressive 4-1 win on the road over the Seattle Kraken on Tuesday night. It wasn’t their best game and they had to rely on the heroics of Alexandar Georgiev several times, but they escaped in the end.

Colorado has now opened the season 3-0-0 for the 7th time in franchise history and is their fourth-best start to the season when on the road. They also won their 14th straight regular-season road game, tying an NHL record dating back to last season. Can they keep the same fortune on home ice?

They’ll certainly be relying on Georgiev to keep upping his play. Along with Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen, and Cale Makar doing their thing (with no boos included this time) they should handle business in their home opener.

Projected Lines

Valeri Nichushkin (13) - Nathan MacKinnon (29) - Mikko Rantanen (96)
Artturi Lehkonen (62) - Ryan Johansen (12) - Jonathan Drouin (27)
Miles Wood (28) - Ross Colton (20) - Tomas Tatar (90)
Andrew Cogliano (11) - Frederik Olofsson (22) - Logan O’Connor (25)

Devon Toews (7) - Cale Makar (8)
Bowen Byram (4) - Sam Girard (49)
Jack Johnson (3) - Josh Manson (42)

Chicago Blackhawks

If you thought the Avalanche had a long road trip to start their season, just take a look at the Blackhawks' schedule. They have opened their first five games on the road, boasting an even .500 record, winning their last game 4-1 against an impressive Toronto Maple Leafs team Monday night.

Of course, the story of the season so far has been the sensational rookie, Connor Bedard. Bedard has not started as hot as maybe some people had wished, only recording one goal and two assists in four games.

Behind Bedard, there is not much else. He cannot run the show every night for Chicago, and will certainly be put up to the task facing the likes of Cale Makar and Devon Toews. But, it should be a really fun watch for the first of many times in the coming years as the Hawks look to come home over .500 in this final game of their road trip.

Projected Lines

Taylor Hall (71) - Connor Bedard (98) - Ryan Donato (8)
Tyler Johnson (90) - Lukas Reichel (27) - Taylor Raddysh (11)
Nick Foligno (17) - Jason Dickinson (16) - Corey Perry (94)
Boris Katchouk (14) - MacKenzie Entwisle (58) - Andreas Athanasiou (89)

Alex Vlasic (72) - Seth Jones (4)
Kevin Korchinski (55) - Connor Murphy (5)
Wyatt Kaiser (44) - Nikita Zaitsev (22)

Goaltenders

The Avalanche will continue rolling with Alexandar Georgiev in their home opener in front of the fans. Meanwhile, the Blackhawks should be going with Petr Mrazek as their number one as he’ll face the brunt of shots once again.