Chicago Sun-Times

Blackhawks look to cool Avalanche's hot start

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By Ben Meyer-Abbott bmeyer-abbott@suntimes.com
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The Blackhawks resurgent penalty kill will get its biggest test of the early season when the Hawks take on the Colorado Avalanche Thursday night.

Colorado enters the game with the No. 1 ranked power play in the league at 31.8 percent and Joel Quenneville said his team will have to be respectful of Colorado's ability with the man-advantage.

"[The Avalanche's] special teams are a big part of their success here and they've got some quickness to their team game. They've got some guys with some skill," Quenneville said.

The Hawks penalty kill is off to a good start as well, killing 14 of 15 opponent power plyas through the first five games. It's a far cry from last season, when the Hawks' PK was the sixth worst in the league at 79.2 percent.

"[Colorado] don't always try to make plays, they simplify it and look for the shots and improvise after that," Quenneville said. "Staying out of the box is important as well and let's try to keep it going defensively on the [penalty kill]."

Defenseman Steve Montador said the Hawks also have to respect the Avlanche's speed.

"They are a fast team," Montardo said. "So was Phoenix and when you play against teams like that you don't want to plan for the slow [play] at any point. Keeping a good gap is always important, but especially against a fast time."

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Adam L. Jahns is a native Chicagoan hailing from the Far Northwest Side. Jahns has been with the Sun-Times since 2005, covering the Hawks since 2009. He's also helped cover the Bears, Cubs, Sox and high schools.

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This page contains a single entry by Adam L. Jahns published on October 20, 2011 1:49 PM.

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