Tuesday, February 7, 2012

AVS GAMEDAY PRIMER: Chicago Blackhawks, 2/7/12

The Good Guys: ...were about 10 feet away from taking an insurmountable 3-1 lead in the final minute on Saturday against Vancouver. A TJ Galiardi miss on the empty net, followed by Kevin Bieksa's Andy Van Slyke-ish diving snag of another Galiardi empty net chance led to Bieksa tying the game, and a Canucks shootout win. In other news, QFERGHQKLERGFERGFQITFQERGVWGBVJQREGFOGWRTHJLGODDAMMIT

Bunch Of Dicks: The Blackhawks have been in the same boat as the Avs lately, having lost their past 5 games in a row. The difference is, the Hawks have a little more margin for error, as they seem to be safely ensconced in playoff position. Chicago is okay in my book, as of the day they dealt Chris Chelios to Detroit. Toews, Kane, Keith, and Hossa are legitimate elite players, they have the best uniforms in the NHL, and the Hawks are a must-watch team for me.

We Like: Not much to like lately with the Avs, but news that Matt Duchene has resumed skating is welcome good news. Tyson Barrie makes his debut on the Avs blueline tonight, and could provide a bit of a spark the way Stefan Elliott did in December.

We Don't Like: Seen the standings lately? 12th place in the Western Conference, behind teams like Calgary and Minnesota. Taint-punches all around.

Randomly: NBC Sports missed a huge opportunity to turn their chicken shit LA/Tampa matchup tonight into chicken salad. Two words: MELROSE BOWL.

Potential Hero: Erik Johnson has played well against Chicago this season. EJ has elevated his game when matched up against elite talent, and he should see plenty of that tonight.

Potential Goat: Fair or unfair, Paul Stastny has received plenty of criticism for the season he's had thus far. That comes with the high price tag. The Avs need more out of Stastny if they're going to pull out of this tailspin, and another invisible performance tonight virtually guarantees a sixth straight loss.

Final Thought: A big win against a quality opponent tonight would be something for the young Avs to use as a rallying point. Unfortunately, they're going to be dealing with an angry Chicago team tonight, and it's hard to imagine pulling two points out of this one.

Blackhawks 4, Avs 2

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