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At the Rink blog

Pivots take center stage in Chicago

Saturday, 10.22.2011 / 4:46 PM

By Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent / At the Rink blog

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At the Rink blog
Pivots take center stage in Chicago
The Chicago Blackhawks and Colorado Avalanche are similar in a lot of regards. They're both built around a young nucleus of talent and they both like to get up and down the ice at a fast pace. They also both have some serious star value at the center position.

That last one, however, is one of the most intriguing aspects whenever they play. The matchups Saturday night ought to be fun to watch. Colorado's top two centers , Paul Stastny (one goal, four points) and Matt Duchene (one goal, four points), will be measured against Chicago's Jonathan Toews three goals, five points) and Patrick Kane (two goals, six points).

Each team has impressive guys centering the third line, as well. Chicago's Dave Bolland (four goals, five points) has added offensive punch to his usual defensive ability, while Colorado's Ryan O'Reilly is doing the same with five assists and a plus-5 rating.

"It's going to be one of those games where both teams are looking for their best players to step to the forefront," Avs coach Joe Sacco said after Colorado's skate on Saturday. "If you look at it that way, just the [top] two centermen they have and with our centermen [it's ] the same thing. It's going to be a game where the best players are going to have to shine."
Quote of the Day

There's no discouragement in that room. There's no issues there at all to be honest with you. It's more about, 'Hey, it's opportunities for players.' And if we become that bad of a team because of one player, it's not a real good sign for our hockey club. So this is part of sports. It's part of hockey.

— Bruins coach Claude Julien on the loss of Zdeno Chara to injury
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