Hawks prepare for Colorado Avalanche; Road to the Winter Classic Ep. 2 review

The Hawks look to get back to their winning ways but will not have it easy as they face a hot Avalanche team in the Mile High City. The Avalanche are coming off of a three game win streak over the Sabres, Red Wings and Blues. The Hawks after coming off of an emotional week hopefully got rest time and decompressed over the holiday break.

Last outing the Blackhawks 23-10-2  beat the Avalanche 13-13-8 during the circus trip. The Colorado Avalanche would love nothing better than to beat the Hawks in a year so far that has not been exactly what they were hoping for. The Avalanche view themselves as a team that wants to be like the Blackhawks and always seem to play their best against them.

This year the team is not as speedy as it once was but is still loaded with offensive talent. Their weakness is on their defense where hopefully the Hawks can take advantage of a somewhat inexperienced blueline. The Avalanche have also been depleted by injury which has cause challenges for coach Roy.

The leading point getters for the Avs are Alex Tanguay and Jerome Iginla and let us not forget the always dangerous Matt Duchene and the speedy Dennis McKinnon.

It will also be interesting to see if coach Quenneville and the coaching staff can get themselves and the troops refocused in such hard times and if they are ready to face perhaps the most difficult foe that we all must face as some time in our lives– grief & grieving.

INJURY REPORT

Trevor Van Riemsdyk is on LTIR and out still recovering from surgery on his left patella that was fractured

Michal Rozsival questionable with lower body injury

Patrick Bordeleau out with fractured knee

Ben Street  out with hand injury

Jamie McGinn out for the season with back injury

Ryan Wilson out for the season with shoulder injury

Where to watch: CSN TV or listen on  WGN radio 720 in chicago

EPIX continued its’ Road to the NHL Winter Classic Episode 2.  In an emotional episode that dealt with the untimely passing of assistant equipment manager Clint Reif 34 yrs old, Epix managed to handle this very sensitive topic with class, respect and still honored Reif with a segment on him that they caught on film before his passing which is now priceless. Blackhawks fans have your tissues ready if you have not already seen this episode.

Episode 2 caught the entire range of humanity and emotions from Coach Q’s colorful behind the bench language, to his tear filled press interview when he addressed the media about the passing of Reif.  It is not often and cannot recall if ever we have witnessed such honest raw human emotions. For this applauds should go to Epix, the NHL and the Chicago Blackhawks. If you did not feel close to this team before you will now after watching this episode.

There is also a great look at Andrew Shaw. Most Hawks fans know Shaw pretty well but this just confirms what we thought about him. The fire, passion, grit and humor they gott from him on film is invaluable to getting to know players. Again thank you Epix.

Episode 2 opened with the premise that things are not worth doing unless they are hard, and to be the best you have to be challenged and embrace and live for that challenge. This season, unlike any other the Blackhawks have faced will be the toughest challenge and a fight to overcome emotions and something perhaps they are unfamiliar with. It is something as humanity we share but never feel comfortable with.

They say time heals all wounds but maybe it’s love that does. Love of your teammates, love of your coaches, love of your staff and love of the game that may need to get this team through. The one thing you can be assured of is the fans are right there with this team in the good and through the bad times so  you are not alone.