Preview: Blackhawks vs Avalanche
Date: Tuesday, November 19th 2013
Chicago Blackhawks vs Colorado Avalanche Preview
This is the first of four games between the Blackhawks and Avalanche this season.
Chicago will start a seven game road trip and won’t be back home until December 3rd. They face an Avalanche team that’s lost three straight games.
Over the weekend the Hawks lost 7-2 to the Predators but in their defense the Preds entered that game angry from their loss before. The Hawks did however bounce back and beat the high scoring San Jose Sharks 5-1.
The victory also marked Kris Versteeg’s return to the Windy City after he was reacquired in a trade with the Panthers. A member of Chicago’s 2010 Stanley Cup-winning team, Versteeg had a goal and assist against the Sharks.
Injuries. Injuries. Injuries. Forward Matt Duchene was compiling a Hart-worthy season (12 goals, 20 points) until he left Friday’s game with an oblique injury. And if you know anything about hockey, obliques are VERY important in this game.
Rookie Nathan MacKinnon replaced Duchene between Gabriel Landeskog and Ryan O’Reilly during practice Monday.
Who’s hot: Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp had two goals and an assist in the win against the Sharks, and has seven goals and 13 assists in 21 games. Rookie center Brandon Pirri has goals in three straight games and a four-game point streak. Versteeg has three points in two games with Chicago. Patrick Kane has a point in seven straight.
O’Reilly has five goals and two assists in the Avalanche’s past seven games, and eight goals and 14 points on the season. MacKinnon has 12 points (three goals, nine assists) in 19 games.
Injury report: The Blackhawks hope to get Marian Hossa (lower body) back for the game tonight. Backup goalie Nikolai Khabibulin (lower body) could be out “a bit” according to coach Joel Quenneville. Michal Handzus (upper body) has missed the past eight games. Michael Kostka (lower body) and Brad Mills (lower body) remain sidelined.
For Colorado, Alex Tanguay (knee) was placed on IR retroactive to Nov. 2 and Ryan Wilson (back) is out indefinitely, but Andre Benoit (wrist) could return Tuesday.
Chicago Blackhawks – Corey Crawford (not confirmed yet)
Colorado Avalanche – Semyon Varlamov (confirmed)
Chicago Blackhawks vs Colorado Avalanche Prediction
This is a small NHL pick and it will NOT be documented in our overall NHL record.
This pick is real simple. Whenever you can get the Blackhawks at odds under -140 you take them. Doesn’t matter who is in net for them. Also with the recent Colorado struggles backing the Hawks is the only option you have in this match-up. Until I see the Avs brake out of this slump I will go against them.
Chicago Blackhawks -130
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