Tonight, the Hawks will try to climb out of a 2 game losing skid, going 1-3-0 in their last 4 games. How quickly things change for a team that had a dominant December.
The Avs are currently one of the NHL's hottest teams right now and invade the Madhouse on Madison. With an 8-2 record in their last 10 games and a three-game winning streak, it's clear things are clicking for the Mountain Men. Goalie Semyon Varlamov is expected to be the net minder tonight and is 13-13-1 with a 2.96 gaa and .900 save %. The Avs last played Monday night winning in a shoot out in LA 2-1.
For the Hawks, the short time home should be enough time to reflect on last night's loss and regroup for tonight's challenge. I expect Andrew Shaw and Dylan Olsen to be again in the lineup tonight. The Hawks did not provide themselves with a PP (ranked 15th in the league) last night so tonight I expect to see how Coach Q's moving Kaner to the second power-play unit works out tonight (the PP is 1-for-21 in the past 6 games). Note, the PK ranks 26th in the league at 78.3%...OUCH.
Tonight's Expected Hawks Lineup:
Shaw - Toews - Hossa
Sharp - Kane - Stalberg
Bickell - Bolland - Frolik
Brunette - Mayers - Hayes
Keith - Seabrook
Leddy - Hjalmarsson
Olsen - O'Donnell
Odds and Ends:
- The Hawks are 4-0 on Friday night Home games
- The Avs have won their last 3 road games.
- In the last meeting between the two teams at the UC, the Avs escaped with a 5-4 SO victory.
- The Crow has stopped 51 of 56 shots while going 1-0-1 against the Avs this season.
- Kane finally scored last night (thats 3 goals in his last 21 games).
- Car Bomb's knee injury have many believing that he may have played his last game in a Hawks' jersey. I have no opinion on this yet.
Just a thought... here's a new drinking game: Every time a Hawks forward shoots a point blank shot wide, take a shot. Bonus: If the wide shot results in an opponents rush the other way, chug your chaser before all Hawk forwards make it back into the defensive zone. If the last player back is Scott or Lepisto drink again. An alternative to this game... Every time the Hawks are scrambling in their defensive zone (with players out of position) take a shot. Bonus: If the Hawks' escape the scrambling and rush up ice on a 2-1 and score chug your chaser.
Thanks for reading!