The Colorado Avalanche will continue their homestand against the Chicago Blackhawks, but this is not just another game for rookie defenseman Tyson Barrie who will make his NHL debut. Barrie, a third round selection in the 2009 draft, was called up from AHL Lake Erie last week and took the place of fellow rookie Stefan Elliott (who was sent down to the AHL after a rough stretch).
Barrie is the fourth member of the 2009 NHL Draft class to make his NHL Debut, including Matt Duchene, Ryan O'Reilly, and Elliott. Barrie has been one of the stars for an undermanned Lake Erie team, leading the Monsters with 24 assists and 29 total points. The 5'10" defenseman isn't physically large, but he has an offensive upside that is desperately needed for a scuffling Avalanche team that has lost four straight games -- all by a single goal.
Colorado's opponent has not fared well either, as the Blackhawks have lost five games in a row and fallen to fourth place in the Central Division. Their offense has also struggled, scoring more than two goals in just one of their past five games. Unfortunately, Chicago lost that game to the Edmonton Oilers by a 8-4 margin as they watched Oilers forward Sam Gagner match the Edmonton franchise record with eight points on the evening. For Chicago, the road does not get any easier, with five more road games in a row after their visit to Denver.
The Blackhawks have struggled mightily against Colorado the past two seasons (2-3-2) and have only managed six total points in their last seven meetings.
Puck drops at 7:00 p.m. MDT.
For more coverage, visit our Avalanche blog Mile High Hockey and our Blackhawks blog Second City Hockey.