puck in a box

Kiki’s Keys to the Chicago Blackhawks-Colorado Avalanche Game [03\19\2017]

Hello, there! Here are my keys to tonight’s Chicago Blackhawks game against the Colorado Avalanche.

#1. Continue to stay consistent on home ice: In last night’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Blackhawks won their 4th straight game in a row and they now have a five-point lead over the Minnesota Wild for 1st place in the Central Division of the NHL after Minnesota lost to the New York Rangers the other night as well.

Tonight, they will be back in Chicago after having a successful three-game road trip in Canada and in order for them to continue to stay consistent in tonight’s game, they need to stay focused, active, visible, get pucks to the net, stay disciplined (meaning “stay out of the penalty box”), try to take advantage of the power play, keep your penalty kill strong, maintain the lead once you have it, don’t wait until the last minute to start scoring goals, win your faceoffs and especially, keep the momentum once you have it.

#2. Keep the penalty minutes low: Even though the Blackhawks had only 2 penaltly minutes during the game last night, but during their three-game road trip, they had a total of 16 penalty minutes.

I’ve said this tons of times in my past keys and I’m saying it again: the Blackhawks need to tone down on the unnecessary penalties and try to stay out of the penalty box because it will leave them short-handed which will give the other team a chance to take advantage of their own power play opportunity which could possibly change the outcome of the game.

#3. Be aware of the Avalanche: The Colorado Avalanche will be coming off a 5-1 loss against the Detroit Red Wings, making it the 6th loss for them so far in the month of March. Currently, they are in 7th place in the Central Division of the NHL with a record of 20-47-3.

The Avalanche have a minus -93 goal differential (which the worst in the league) and have a home record of 9-24-1. Their power play has been less than pleasant, scoring only 2 power play goals so far this month with their power play percentage is currently ranking 30th overall in the league.

The last time the Blackhawks and the Avalanche played against each other back in January, the Blackhawks defeated them 6-4. Even though Colorado has not been playing quite well lately, they shouldn’t be underestimated because there’s no telling what they might do tonight, so the Hawks need to be aware of them throughout the game.

Here are some key Avalanche players to be aware of: 

  • Nathan MacKinnon (who currently leads the team in points & assists and has scored 2 goals in his last 5 games)
  • Matt Duchene (who has currently leads the team in goals, but has only scored 1 goal in his last 5 games)
  • Tyson Barrie (who is third on the team in points and has gotten 2 assists in his last 5 games)
  • Calvin Pickard [if he is starting in net tonight] (who has a record of 13-24-2, a goals against average of 2.87, a save percentage of .909 and has won 13 games as the starting goaltender).