The Chicago Blackhawks join the Mile High city Friday night in the second showing of a home-and-home with the Colorado Avalanche. Chicago looks to improve on its current 24 game point streak and 11-game win streak and Gabriel Landeskog and the Avs have something to prove.
Landeskog told NHL.com this week that he has been looking forward to meeting the Madhouse Gang and is determined to show that the Colorado Avalanche have the skill and prowess to force their way into a conversation about the NHL’s top teams.
The Avs gave the Hawks a run for their money on Wednesday, losing 3 – 2 off a last-minute goal by Daniel Carcillo. It was a physical and high-paced game that was neck-and-neck for the most of it and appeared to indicate an overtime or shootout decision. Colorado’s defense did well to break up Chicago rushes and frustrate the offense for most of the game, being up 2 – 1 going into the third period until Jonathan Toews was able to tie it up early. In the final minute of the game, Daniel Carcillo was able to produce enough traffic in front of Sergei Bobrovsky to slide it through the five-hole for the eventual 3 – 2 win.
During the game, Patrick Sharp took a bad hit and immediately left the ice with some assistance from the linesman. He would retire to the locker room and not return. Quenneville revealed today that Sharp would be out 2 – 3 weeks, but would not require surgery. Patrick Sharp will be sorely missed and his line jumbled up for the time-being – but the Hawks have enough firepower to respond well.
Michael Frolik missed the last two games with the flu but is expected to return Friday night in Colorado. It is also expected that Marian Hossa will return after missing Wednesday night’s game in Chicago and Brandon Bollig has been recalled from Rockford after being sent to the AHL earlier this week.
The Colorado Avalanche are missing Steve Downie since the beginning of the season, Milan Hejduk since Tuesday night, Erik Johnson and Ryan Wilson since February. The injured Avs, though, seem to be doing well under the leadership of Gabriel Landeskog, PA Parenteau, and Matt Duchene – who have a combined total of 45 points nearly halfway through the season.
The Hawks have to lose sometime, and somebody has to end it – will it be the Colorado Avalanche on Friday night in Denver? There’s only one way to find out.