Colorado Avalanche Hosting Chicago Blackhawks at Home

DENVER, CO - APRIL 04: Matt Duchene
DENVER, CO - APRIL 04: Matt Duchene /

The Colorado Avalanche complete the second half of their back-to-back at home against the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Colorado Avalanche return from Vegas to Denver for their second game of their second back-to-back of the season. (They have 11 total.) They’re hosting the Chicago Blackhawks.

Historically, the Avalanche have fared well against Chicago. They’re 55-34-5-3(ties) since the 1995-96 season. They have 319 goals for and 264 goals against. Fun fact, they’ve also met twice in the playoff with Colorado taking both series — the first time was en route to their first Stanley Cup.

Last season, the Chicago Blackhawks edged out the Colorado Avalanche in their five-game series, winning three in regulation. The two times Colorado played, they won in overtime.

How to Enjoy the Game

Game time: October 28, 7:00 pm MT
TV Networks: Altitude TV (Avs feed), NBCSCH (Hawks feed)
Radio: Altitude Radio (AM 950)

Fatigue Factor

More from Mile High Sticking

The Colorado Avalanche are in their second game of a back-to-back. However, it would be remiss if they claimed fatigue. Prior to this, they had two days between their home game against the Stars and the away game in Vegas.

Prior to that they had four days between games, and one of those featured an optional practice.

In reality, it’s more about the Avs getting into the rhythm. Players generally agree that they prefer a every other day, every two days schedule. Colorado has seen precious little of that this season.

April 4, 2017 Game

The last time the Colorado Avalanche and Chicago Blackhawks met, it was a home overtime win for the Avs. It was also their last win of the season — #22 — with three losses ahead of them.

That was a game that saw the Avalanche go down three goals in the second period. However, the Avs scored not one but two short-handed goals in the latter half of the period to catch up.

The first was a two-on-one. Matthew Nieto, the hero of the Dallas Stars game, motored into the Chicago zone. The Blackhawks player tried to stop the pass by dropping to the ice, but Nieto completed the pass to the other Matt, Duchene:

Matt Duchene completed a one-timer that sped right past Scott Darling.

The second goal came four minutes later, and it was the captain,

Gabriel Landeskog

, who scored it. It was a hard-working goal that started with his intercepting a drop pass. He corals the puck and maneuvers past the Hawks player. Winger

Patrick Kane

is coming at him but, you know, Kane doesn’t do defense. Kane makes a half-hearted attempt to slash Landeskog’s hands, which doesn’t deter the captain from getting the shot off:

Darling makes the save, but the puck rebounds right back to Landeskog. The captain wraps around the net and whips the puck right into the net — Darling lost sight of the puck long enough for him to hesitate in his crease.

The Avalanche went into the third period down by one, but Mikhail Grigorenko tied it at the 5:46 mark:

Now that is a sweet, sweet move by Matt Duchene. (I love me some Dutchy spin-o-rama.) Even Mikhail Grigorenko, who just one-timed the puck in, is clearly impressed by Duchene’s move.

That play and Calvin Pickard‘s 24 saves took the game into overtime.

And then Erik Johnson scored the sexiest goal of the season to win the game for the Colorado Avalanche:

There is nothing Avs-related I love more than a coast-to-coast goal by Erik Johnson. With his tremendous stride, he makes it look like the ice surface is mini size.

Next: Greer and Bourque at Practice

The Colorado Avalanche will face the Chicago Blackhawks just three more times this season, all in March. They’ll play in Chicago on March 6 and March 20. They’ll host the Blackhawks again on March 30.