Pre-game vs Calgary - Jan 11, 2007 - Colorado Avalanche Updates, News and Game Reviews at Avs Talk

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Pre-game vs Calgary - Jan 11, 2007

Alex Tanguay is set to make his return to the Pepsi Center tonight as the Colorado Avalanche battle the Calgary Flames in the second of eight matches between the teams this season. The first game at the Pengrowth Saddledome did not end well with the Flames coming away with a 5-2 win. The Flames haven't had much success lately when in Avalanche country though, going 1-3 in their last 4 matches at the Pepsi Center.

With a win tonight, the Avalanche will leapfrog over Edmonton for the 8th and final playoff spot in the West. Edmonton claimed that spot last night with a win over the Sharks as the see-saw battle in the NW continues. If Calgary were to win, they would jump back into top spot in the division. So far, every team in the NW has been atop the division at one point or another and nobody has started pulling away yet, even with Vancouver's latest winning streak.

Peter Budaj gets the call in net for the seventh straight game. He put in a huge performance against Detroit which many feel has cemented his spot as the #1 goaltender in Colorado. As prone to goaltender worship as I can be, it's still going to take more than a quarter season to have me on the "Budaj=savior" bandwagon. But as long as he keeps cranking out wins, I'm certainly rooting him on.

On the opposite end of the rink will be last years Vezina winner and 2nd best goalie in the NHL (imho), Miikka Kiprusoff. Kiprusoff recorded his 100th victory on Tuesday as they downed the Wild 3-0. That gives him 5 shutouts on the season which still has him 2 shy of the league lead which is held by the #1 goalie in the league (imho), Martin Brodeur. How that man didn't get voted in as the starter for the east, I'll never know.

The Flames will again be without their captain Jarome Iginla who is on the shelf with a knee injury. Unfortunately for opponents, that hasn't panned out the way most had hoped. With Iginla out of the lineup, the Flames are 3-0 while getting scoring contributions from an unlikely source in Byron Ritchie who has 4 goals in his last 3 games.

In the Avalanche end, it's an unlikely source who isn't scoring. Marek Svatos hasn't lit the lamp in his last 12 games and only has 4 points in that same span. That's a far cry from the 30+ goal scorer we saw last year. Thankfully, Milan Hejduk seems to have woken from a long slumber with 3 goals and 4 points, including his 500th career point, in his last 4 games. Could the Duke of old be back?

Jordan Leopold - groin, IR
Liles - foot, IR
Patrice Brisebois - back, day-to-day
Brett Mclean - back, day-to-day

Iginla - knee, day-to-day
Kobasew - concussion, day-to-day
McCarty - hip, IR
Zyuzin - groin, day-to-day

Brunette has 15pts in the last 13, Hejduk has 4 in 4, Clark has 3 in 4.

Tanguay has 5 in 3, Langkow has 15 in 12, Ritchie has 3 in 2.

Laperriere has 0 in 13, Turgeon has 0 in 7, Svatos has 0 in 3.

Lundmark has 0 in 26

Peter Budaj - 12-8-2, 2.42 GAA, .911 save pct
Miikka Kiprusoff - 20-14-3, 2.30 GAA, .921 save pct

Colorado - 21-18-3, 4th in NW, 9th in West
Calgary - 22-15-4, 2nd in NW, 7th in West


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