Preview/Game Thread: Chicago Blackhawks vs. Colorado Avalanche


Chicago Blackhawks (10-9–5) vs. Colorado Avalanche (14–8-2)

3 p.m. CST
United Center

Projected starting goaltenders

Chicago Corey Crawford (5–4–3, .938 save percentage, 2.38 goals against average)
ColoradoPavel Francouz(4–2–0, .920 save percentage, 2.55 goals against average)

Team statistics

Power play
Chicago (13.7%, 27th)
Colorado (18.8%, 16th)

Penalty kill
Chicago (81.3%, 17th)
Colorado (77.8%, 22nd)

Shots for/against
Chicago (31.0, 19th; 36.8, 31st)
Colorado (30.8, 19th; 30.4, 27th)

Shooting percentage
Chicago (9.3%)
Colorado (10.8%)

Face off percentage
Chicago (48.8%, 24th)
Colorado (47.6%, 27th)

Projected lines and pairings

Chicago Blackhawks

Brandon SaadJonathan ToewsAlexander Nylander
Alex DeBrincatKirby DachPatrick Kane
Dominik KubalikDavid KampfAndrew Shaw
Matthew HighmoreRyan CarpenterZack Smith

Duncan KeithErik Gustafsson
Calvin de HaanBrent Seabrook
Olli MaattaConnor Murphy

Colorado Avalanche

Matt Nieto Nathan MacKinnonJoonas Donskoi
Tyson JostNazem KadriJ.T. Compher
Valeri NichushkinPierre-Edouard BellemareLogan O’Connor
Sheldon DriesVladislav KamenevT.J. Tynan

Nikita ZadorovCale Makar
Calle RosenSamuel Girard
Ryan GravesIan Cole


Entertaining and impressive; those are the two words used to describe the previous two games for the Blackhawks. After defeating the Dallas Stars 3-0, the Blackhawks confidence has been soaring high, especially with their goaltenders. Corey Crawford turned in a flawless effort earning the Blackhawks first shutout of the season. In the unofficial game of one-upmanship, Crawford has taken the game to another level. In Crawford’s last six games, he is 4-1-1 with 1.82 goals against average and .948 save percentage. He will remain in the net to today against the Colorado Avalanche breaking the “goalie every other game” trend. This means Robin Lehner, who currently leads the NHL with a .938 save percentage, will get an extra day off. With the goalie duo of Crawford and Lehner, the Blackhawks are able to play a free-wheeling style of offense which has finally yielded some wins.

One player that has benefited the most from the excellent goaltending on his backend is Patrick Kane, who is currently riding a 13 game point streak featuring nine goals and 13 assists. The last player besides Kane to have a 13 game point streak was Chris Chelios back in the 1995-96 season. If the Blackhawks want to build off their victory against the Stars, the offense will need more production than from Kane. They will also need Brandon Saad to continue producing points. Saad scored his 100th career goal against Dallas and his seventh on the season.

The next opponent for the Blackhawks is the Colorado Avalanche. The Avs will get real familiar with the Blackhawks as they square off against each other in their next two games. In their last game, Colorado scored three goals against the Edmonton Oilers in a span 2:32. The game went from a 1-1 game to a 4-1 victory. Over their last nine games, they are 6-3-0 and looking to continue rolling down the mountain. With the momentum the Avs are building, Cale Maker is making his mark on the history books. Makar has 25 points in his first 24 games and is the most points since Larry Murphy’s 28 points in 1980-81. In addition to Maker meteoric rise, Nathan MacKinnon continues to play at a high level. He is currently riding a five-game point streak and has 18 points in the month of November.

If the Blackhawks want to win they have to hold down the fourth-ranked offense of the Colorado Avalanche. The Avs average 3.54 goals a game which fourth-best in the NHL.

This matchup will be strength on strength. Who will prevail?

Make sure to follow Aaron Goldschmidt and JJ Seaward with our Colorado chapter on Twitter @TheRinkColorado and Instagram @the_rink_colorado

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