With the Nashville Predators playing at a torrid pace of late, the Blackhawks know that they need to win games if they want to keep the gap close with them. Catching Nashville may be a tough task, but aiming high isn't a bad idea. Chicago has points in 7 straight games, but just 4 wins in that time. 4-0-3 isn't bad, but you're not winning this division if you can't win those tight games. Tonight, when they host the Avalanche, could be a good start.
A bright spot for the 'Hawks has been Corey Crawford who has been playing extremely well of late and keeping them in games. He's been beat just 4 times in the last 3 games, stopping 87 of 91 shots on goal. That's an astronomical .965 save percentage, and while that may not be sustainable, it's definitely impressive. More, please.
Opponent Breakdown: Colorado Avalanche
The Avalanche have had it pretty rough this season, as they currently sit at the bottom of the Central. While a regression was expected from them this year after winning the division last season, that's still pretty surprising. They've won just 2 of their last 5 games, and are trying to bounce back from the 4-1 beatdown they suffered at the hands of the Kings on Wednesday night.
However, goalie Semyon Varlamov has had the 'Hawks number in recent matchups between these two. The last time these two teams met, Varlarmov stopped all 54 shots (!!!!!) to shut the Blackhawks out. That's just silly, and has a hint of one-time-only to it. Hopefully I'm right about that.
The Avs haven't been good away from home this season, with an away record of just 9-11-8.
Blackhawks: Trevor van Riemsdyk (knee), Tim Erixon (lower body)
Avalanche: Erik Johnson (lower body), Borna Rendulic (leg), Patrick Bordeleau (knee), Jamie McGinn (back), Ryan Wilson (shoulder), Jesse Winchester (concussion)
When: 7:30 p.m. CT
Where: United Center