Pre-game vs Edmonton - Dec 19, 2006 - Colorado Avalanche Updates, News and Game Reviews at Avs Talk

Monday, December 18, 2006

Pre-game vs Edmonton - Dec 19, 2006

Game day looms and its another chance for the Avs to move into the top position in the Northwest. They'd actually be tied, and with Edmonton playing less games, will be in 2nd place. But hey, it beats being in 5th place! The Oilers haven't played since Friday's 4-1 loss to the Avalanche. The Avalanche are coming off a 2-1 loss to the Blackhawks on Sunday which would have moved them up towards the top of the Northwest. So both teams should be fired up, but I see the Avs having more of an edge tonight.

Following the loss on Sunday, Coach Q decided that the team wasn't fighting enough for pucks. So at the end of practice, he set up one goal and 2 players in front. One player tried to get the puck in, one tried to keep it out. After the drill, he gave the team the thumbs up and said that's how they need to play from now on. A bit more passion, a bit more grit, a bit more determination. Good move by the coach!

Marek Svatos is going to sit out this game, Thursday's game against Calgary, and possibly Saturday's game against Chicago. He felt that he needed a bit more rest for his groin to play at the level he needs to play at. It's unfortunate but it is a responsible decision. If you're not able to give a full effort, take the time to heal up and the team will be better for it in the end.

Brad Richardson is likely back in the line-up after sitting out one game with a sore elbow. I'm also hoping that Sauer is a scratch, Klee goes back on D, and Laaksonen goes in. Sauer did nothing on defense that Klee doesn't do, Klee is not a winger, and Laaksonen is a good penalty killer.

Peter Budaj will get the start tonight according to Rocky Mountain News. I think it's a bit of an odd choice since Theodore played well against the Hawks. However, Budaj won the last game against the Oilers so maybe they're going on the idea of players playing great against certain teams. Budaj won his last 2 starts against the Oilers and Theodore lost his last start against them. So the goalie carousel continues to whirl round and round.

Hopefully Dwayne Roloson starts in goal for the Oilers tonight. His last two starts against the Avs led to him being yanked after our offense dismantled him. That's got to be on his mind but who knows if it will work for or against him. He's a good goaltender but has looked very beatable the last few times I've seen him play. He has had a good rest though and might have just been too tired in his last starts against the Avs, one of them being the 2nd of back-to-back starts in goal.

Ian Laperriere and Anti Laaksonen are on a bit of a dry spell lately. It's understandable for Laaksonen as he gets well under 10 minutes per night of ice-time, a lot of that being on the PK. Laperriere seems to be in a funk however. When he's on the ice he brings tons of energy, battles for the puck constantly, is a presence around the net. He just hasn't been able to cash in on anything or get anything setup.

And as a complete aside, in case there are any George Parros worshippers reading this, he got schooled last night by Robyn Regehr. Don't mess with those Saskatchewan boys!*

Leopold - 1 month on IR, groin
Svatos - out for rest of week, groin

Smyth - 1 week away, thumb
Moreau - on IR until late March, shoulder

Sakic has 11pts in his last 6, Brunette has 5 in 4, Clark and Arnason have 3 in 2 and Hejduk has 3 in 3. Brett Mclean has benefitted from being on the Hejduk/Arnason line and has 3 in the last 4.

Jarret Stoll has 6pts in his last 5 and Raffi Torres has 7 in his last 7.

Laperriere and Laaksonen are 0 in the last 4 and 3 games respectively.

Lupul has 0 in 6, Reasoner, Smith, and Staios have 0 in 5, Horcoff is 1 in 6 and Sykora is 1 in 4.

Peter Budaj - 8-6-1, 2.28 GAA, .915 save pct
Dwayne Roloson - 15-11-2, 2.43 GAA, .918 save pct

Colorado - 16-15-2, 5th in NW, 10th in West
Edmonton - 17-13-2, 1st in NW, 3rd in West

* I know Regehr was born in Brazil

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