Blackhawks ready for surging Avalanche

Blackhawks ready for surging Avalanche
October 20, 2011, 7:06 pm
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DENVER -- Consider it the annual routine: the Chicago Blackhawks always seem to play the Colorado Avalanche when the Avs are surging. And that holds true again this season.

The Blackhawks will play an Avalanche team that has won five in a row, all of them coming on the road. Keep in mind the teams the Avalanche beat are a combined 8-17-3 in this early season, but five road victories is nevertheless five road victories.

So how do the Blackhawks make sure the Avs don't bring their road success home? It starts with playing their own road game.

"We should look to continue on from our game in Phoenix (on Tuesday), that's what we're looking for," said coach Joel Quenneville, referring to the Blackhawks' 5-2 victory. "(The Avs) have pace on their game and we have to respect their team speed."

Dave Bolland has his own concerns.

"(Matt) Duchene and (Paul) Stastny, a few of those guys," said Bolland. "They're on fire right now so we have to be aware of them and their firepower. Our defensive zone (work) is going to be key. And if we stay out of the penalty box and we'll have a great game."

The Blackhawks will also have to contend with Colorado's power play, which is converting a league-best 31.8 percent of its chances right now. But the Blackhawks have killed off 93.3 percent of power plays thus far, the fourth-best percentage in the NHL.

Corey Crawford will get the start tonight against the Avalanche.