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Chicago Blackhawks: Top Post-Lockout Rivals, Part I

By Colin Likas
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5 of 5

Apr 11, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Avalanche goalie

Semyon Varlamov

(1) defends his net in the third period against the Chicago Blackhawks at the Pepsi Center. The Avalanche defeated the Blackhawks 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

No. 6: Colorado Avalanche

Blackhawks’ record against since 2005: 19-18-4

Past irritants: Shane O’Brien, Scott Hannan

Current irritants: Maxime Talbot, Gabriel Landeskog, Semyon Varlamov, Patrick Roy

It was kind of a reach for “past irritants” with the Avs, but this is a more-recent thing anyway. The Blackhawks and Avs have played pretty evenly since the lockout. In recent years, this has had to do with Colorado being able to keep up with Chicago’s fast-paced style, while also having Varlamov sit behind it all and make 60 saves a night.

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Colorado was the fluke playoff team of 2014, and it was pretty funny to watch them fall on their behinds in 2015, even though they wound up with a decent point total. This rivalry, as with the Wild and Stars, can grow with more games played against one another in the Central. The Avs have some solid young players to go up against the Blackhawks’ solid young players.

But what really makes this rivalry tick in recent years is Colorado’s ability to be the stopper, of sorts, for Chicago. There’s always that team your guys struggle to get past, and that’s been the Avs of late. You might remember they ended the Blackhawks’ 24-game run without a loss to start the 2013 season, and the above record kind of speaks for itself.

Talbot is just annoying, Landeskog has a penchant for throwing elbows and Roy … he elicits very few positive emotions from other fan bases. It’d be a blast to see Joel Quenneville get his hands on Roy.

Check back in next week for the rest of my rivalry list!

Next: Price Edges Toews As NHL's Best

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