Pre-game vs Minnesota - Jan 6, 2007 - Colorado Avalanche Updates, News and Game Reviews at Avs Talk

Saturday, January 6, 2007

Pre-game vs Minnesota - Jan 6, 2007

After a good win against Tampa last night, the Avs roll into a hostile building tonight as they visit the Wild for a big NW division matchup. With a 7-game winning streak, Vancouver has pulled away a bit in the division and it would behoove the Avs to keep the game to a minimum. Beehove is a weird word but it works in that sentence I think. Minnesota's home record is a league leading 17-4-1 so it's a tough task tonight but it looks like the Avs are up to it. But will they be up to the return of Marian Gaborik?

That's right, Gaborik could very well be back in the lineup tonight and that's bad news for the Northwest divisin as this guy is about as explosive as they get. Before going down to injury, he had started out the season strong with 7 points in 7 games, 2 of those points coming against the Avs in Minnesota's season opener. According to (how did they get that URL!), Gaborik will be a game-time decision but I'm going out on a limb and saying he will play tonight.

I'm also going to go out on a limb and say that Peter Budaj is going to get the start in goal tonight for the 9th time in the last 12 games. He put in solid showings against Nashville and Tampa so there's really no reason not to go with him. Although I do admit to feeling bad for Theodore when I see him come off the bench at the end of each game. However, as far as I can tell he's being a team player which is great to see and is what's needed when your playing a backup role.

Let's hope that the team can carry over a solid defensive performance into tonight's game. I went into some detail on the great play by the defense last night in my post-game and am looking for the exact same thing tonight. It's going to be necessary against a Wild team that has opened up the floodgates a bit in terms of offensive production thanks to the addition of Pavol Demitra and the solid play of Brian Rolston and Pierre-Marc Bouchard.

I'm also looking for the Brunette-Stastny-Hejduk line to continue their solid play, Paul Stastny in particular. He was the #1 star last night for good reason. He put up 3 points and contributed on defense as well. He showed some great hustle and might just be coming into his own. He played well the first half of the season but has certainly seemed to step it up so far in 2007.

It sounds like Brisebois will still be out tonight but I'm not sure if they'll be suiting up 7 d-men tonight or giving Guite a chance to play. Last night they had Klee playing the wing with Turgeon and Rycroft with a bit of D shifts sprinkled here and there. I'd prefer to see a d-man scratched tonight and have Guite in the lineup however, it's hard to against the theory of "don't mess with a winning combination". This roster has won 2 starts in a row, and looked very well in both, so why mess with it?

Patrice Brisebois - back, day-to-day
Leopold - groin, IR

Nummelin - upper body, day-to-day
Gaborik - groin, day-to-day (or is he!)

Sakic has 19 in 13 (TSN rolled him to 4 in 2 but I'll keep the streak going), Wolski has 8 in 6, Brunette has 9 in 7, Stastny has 4 in 2.

Bouchard has 8 in 4, Foster and Rolston have 6 in 4, Demitra has 3 in 2, Parrish has 6 in 3.

Lapperriere has 0 in 11, Turgeon has 0 in 6, Klee has 0 in 4.

Walz has 0 in 3, Dupuis has 0 in 5, Johnsson has 0 in 5.

Peter Budaj - 11-8-1, 2.49 GAA, .907 save pct
Manny Fernandez - 17-14-0, 2.77 GAA, .905 save pct

Colorado - 20-18-2, 4th in NW, 9th in West
Minnesota - 21-18-2, 3rd in NW, 8th in West


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