The Chicago Blackhawks look to keep up their winning ways in two games with the Colorado Avalanche.
The Chicago Blackhawks are eventually going to drop a game in regulation this season. The law of averages is going to catch up with them at some point in 2013. Chicago's epic 23-game points streak may very well come to an end at the hands of the Colorado Avalanche.
The 'Hawks begin what will be a home-and-home Wednesday night at the United Center by taking on the Avalanche before traveling to Denver. Friday night's tilt with Colorado will be Chicago's fourth game in the last six days.
At first look, it seems ridiculous to think that the Avs can derail the Blackhawks Express. Colorado sports a 2-7-3 mark on the road this season and has dropped six straight games in opposing buildings.
The Avalanche have just a single win in their last six contests and lost 2-1 in Detroit Tuesday. Two nights before, they let Columbus come from behind to claim a 2-1 overtime decision. This isn't a team that is burning up the NHL.
What could make the Avalanche a tough opponent is the fact that they have shown they are capable of matching Chicago's pace for 60 minutes. They also had three wins over the Blackhawks last season in four meetings.
The 'Hawks are the winners of 10 straight games, the most recent coming Tuesday when they used four goals in the first period to hold off the Minnesota Wild, 5-3. Dave Bolland returned after a five-game absence, and the 'Hawks could have Michael Frolik back Wednesday as well.
Chicago is getting scoring from each of its top three lines and has been better than the Avalanche all phases of the game. The numbers suggest that the 'Hawks will continue to roll against what could be an overmatched Colorado squad.
Of course, sweeping a home-and-home series is a chore, even for a hot team like the 'Hawks. Chicago and the Avs have had similar matchups in each of the last two seasons. The teams split games two nights apart last season, and Colorado took both contests in 2010-11.
It might be time for the 'Hawks to come away with a sweep. The games are beginning to pile up, though. The Avalanche finish their three-game road trip Wednesday and need to jump start their season. They should be motivated to play hard against the NHL's best team and try to hit the ignition switch.
Statistics favor the 'Hawks, but they will have to earn both wins with Colorado.