The Blackhawks have a quick turnaround from Friday’s disappointment by facing the Avalanche on Saturday night. The second leg of a back-to-back might not be the ideal time to try to stem the tide from four losses in five games, but that’s the task in the thin air in Denver.
Chicago largely played well in a 2-1 loss to Nashville, but couldn’t convert at even strength or on the power play. The offense that looked quite good earlier this season has sputtered in recent games.
The Avalanche are coming off a 7-0 drubbing to the Golden Knights, so this may be a good opportunity for the Blackhawks even on the road. Colorado has lost four of its last five just like the Hawks, so this is a matchup between two teams looking to shake off some recent struggles.
It will also be a matchup between backup goaltenders because both teams played their starters on Friday. Jonathan Bernier, who has a .894 save percentage in three appearances, will be in net for Colorado. The Hawks will have Anton Forsberg, who has performed well with a .929 save percentage in his first two starts with the team.
The Avs may be better than a year ago, but they’ve merely improved from disastrous to mediocre. They’re currently 19th in goals for, 18th in goals against, 24th on the power play, and 24th on the penalty kill. They’re tied for 23rd in 5-on-5 Corsi, per Natural Stat Trick. Yes, they’re tied with the Blackhawks, so that’s not exactly a striking statement, but it goes to show that this is still a favorable matchup.
The Blackhawks could use a strong victory of their own to help shake off the stink of the past few losses. They were close against the Predators. Maybe it’ll go better Saturday against the Avalanche.
|Brandon Saad – Jonathan Toews – Alex DeBrincat
|Richard Panik – Nick Schmaltz – Patrick Kane
|Patrick Sharp – Artem Anisimov – John Hayden
|Lance Bouma – Tommy Wingels – Ryan Hartman
|Duncan Keith – Jan Rutta
|Gustav Forsling – Brent Seabrook
|Michal Kempny – Connor Murphy
|Sven Andrighetto – Nathan MacKinnon – Mikko Rantanen
|Gabriel Landeskog – Matt Duchene – Nail Yakupov
|Matthew Nieto – Carl Soderberg – Blake Comeau
|A.J. Greer – Alexander Kerfoot – Rocco Grimaldi
|Anton Lindholm – Erik Johnson
|Patrik Nemeth – Tyson Barrie
|Mark Barberio – Andrei Mironov
How to watch Blackhawks at Avalanche
Start time: 8 p.m. CT
Location: Pepsi Center, Denver
TV: NBC Sports Chicago