This will be the game for the right to call yourself the best, both of these teams are among the top franchises in the NHL this season. Both are figuring things out as they make their ways closer to the post season. For the Avalanche this season has been one of self endurance, they have suffered big setbacks through injuries while at the same time open the season on the losing side of things. The Blackhawks know they have the pedigree to make it back but they have to get their overtime and shootout numbers up.
Colorado is has beaten the Blackhawks twice out of the three games this season. the series is five total so nothing is written in stone but who ever pulls this series off, will have the advantage come playoff time to have already beaten the other. The Avalanche need to make sure they keep their defense back, they have a tendency of having them help out around mid ice, something that has cost them late goals because they are offset in a fast break situation.
Chicago needs to pressure the puck more in the third period, they seem to relax a little too much while at the same time practicing their shootouts. Chicago has lost 68% of their shootout games this season, something that really would have had them in a better all around place had they won half of them. I expect both Wings, Kan and Sharp to play extra physical in this game to make sure they start off on the right foot.
Chicago will be between -140 and -155 in this game at home and from what I have seen after the Olympics they really need to apply the gas, I like under 5 goals with the Avalanche taking this game on a counts of a better goalie in the net for this game.