Preview/Game Thread: Chicago Blackhawks vs. Colorado Avalanche

  

Colorado Avalanche (15-8–2) vs. Chicago Blackhawks (10–10-5)

8 p.m. CST
Pepsi Center
TV/Radio: NBCSN/WGN

Projected starting goaltenders

ChicagoRobin Lehner (5–4–3, .938 save percentage, 2.38 goals against average)
ColoradoPhilipp Grubauer  (8–5–2, .912 save percentage, 2.86 goals against average)

Team statistics

Power play
Chicago (13.5%, 24th)
Colorado (19.2%, 13th)

Penalty kill
Chicago (80.8%, 19th)
Colorado (78.0%, 21nd)

Shots for/against
Chicago (31.0, 18th; 36.2, 31st)
Colorado  (31.2, 18th; 32.6, 22nd)

Shooting percentage
Chicago (9.1%)
 Colorado (11.1%)

Face off percentage
Chicago (49.1%, 21st)
Colorado (47.4%, 29th)

Projected lines and pairings

Chicago Blackhawks

Brandon Saad — Jonathan Toews — Alexander Nylander
Alex DeBrincat — Kirby Dach  — Patrick Kane
Dominik Kubalik — David Kampf — Andrew Shaw
Matthew HighmoreRyan Carpenter — Zack Smith

Ian McCoshen Erik Gustafsson
Calvin de Haan — Brent Seabrook
Olli Maatta  Connor Murphy

Colorado Avalanche

Matt Nieto  Nathan MacKinnon — Joonas Donskoi 
Tyson Jost — Nazem Kadri  J.T. Compher
Valeri Nichushkin  Pierre-Edouard Bellemare — Logan O’Connor
Sheldon Dries — Vladislav Kamenev  T.J. Tynan

Nikita Zadorov  Cale Makar
Mikko Rantanen — Samuel Girard
Ryan Graves  Ian Cole

Analysis

Yesterday was a bad dream for the Chicago Blackhawks. After coming into the game feeling confident in their ability to play well, too much tryptophan from Thanksgiving led to a sluggish start. The sluggish start was only the beginning of the bad dream. The game featured poor defensive play and somewhat suspect goaltending. Corey Crawford, who was riding a hot streak, played decent but allowed five goals on twenty-three shots. All the blame for the five goals should not be on Crawford, though, as his defense committed costly turnover after costly turnover leading to golden scoring chances. To add insult to injury, literally, Duncan Keith left the game with a groin injury. Keith did not travel with the team today and has been replaced by recently acquired Ian McCoshen on the roster.

The bad dream ended with a 5-2 thrashing at the hands of the Colorado. If there is any silver lining in the bad dream, it’s that Patrick Kane’s point streak was extended to fourteen games.

Lucky for the Blackhawks they get a chance to avenge their loss just over 24 hours earlier. Robin Lehner will his chance to stifle the lightning quick Avalanche offense. Lehner comes into today’s game with a 2-1-1 with .942 save percentage 2.47 goals-against average.

Lehner will have his work cut out for him as he has to face the red hot rookie sensation Cale Makar. Maker added to his impressive start, he now has 26 points in 25 games with eight goals and 18 assists. In addition to being a scoring machine, Makar has yet to commit a penalty this season. Makar is not the only offensive force for the Avalanche.

Nathan McKinnon started the season on 13 game point streak and now is currently riding a six-game point streak. He continued his point streak with a four-point effort. If the Blackhawks do not want to experience deja-vu, they need to keep the Avalanche MVP off the score sheet.  

Can the Blackhawks avoid a bad dream turning into a nightmare or will the Avalanche continue to crush the Blackhawks?

Center Ice Forums Preview/Game Thread: Chicago Blackhawks vs. Colorado Avalanche

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