Friday night, the Chicago Blackhawks will visit the Colorado Avalanche in what could be a monumental matchup. The Blackhawks have recorded at least a point in their first 24 games and have won 11 games in a row.
But Friday in Colorado, injuries, home-ice advantage and inevitability could lead to the first non-overtime loss of the season for the Blackhawks.
Right-winger Marian Hossa did not play in Chicago's win against Colorado on Wednesday, and forwards Andrew Shaw and Patrick Sharp each left the game with injuries. Sharp has already been ruled out for Friday night, and Hossa and Shaw are questionable.
The Blackhawks seem to be slowing down a bit. While Patrick Kane is still going strong in 2013, some of Chicago's best supporting players are falling victim to injury. Every game the 'Hawks play, their opposition is gunning to end their historic points streak. Without its full lineup, Chicago may finally falter and lose its first game of the season.
On Wednesday night, Chicago pulled off a dramatic 3-2 victory at home against the Avalanche. This Friday, the two teams meet again, this time in Colorado. Not only is it hard to beat the same team twice in one week, it's even harder when the second game is on the road.
Colorado has recorded six of its eight victories at home. After losing by just one goal to Chicago on Wednesday, there is no doubt that the Avalanche are foaming at the mouth for another chance to beat the Blackhawks.
In addition to these factors above, the Avalanche may be able to best the Blackhawks simply because Chicago will not likely record a point in every game this season. To either win or lose in overtime every game in a season is unrealistic.
Having recorded a point in 24 games is quite a feat; but this streak will likely come to an end when the Blackhawks face the Avalanche Friday night. Look for the Avalanche to show the 'Hawks that all good things must come to an end.