Pre-game vs Tampa Bay - Jan 5, 2007 - Colorado Avalanche Updates, News and Game Reviews at Avs Talk

Friday, January 5, 2007

Pre-game vs Tampa Bay - Jan 5, 2007

Boy that was a long break from Avs hockey. 4-day off stretches are never good for teams, particularly this one it seems. It's a time to heal wounds, rest your mind, relax with family...and turn down the "desire" switch just a bit. It's the first meeting of these teams since the '03/'04 season which always makes it a fun game. Tampa did everyone a favor last night in beating the Wild in regulation so let's hope they used up a lot of steam in that victory and that the Avs can pick apart a tired and struggling team.

Tonight gives everyone their first chance to see Ben Guite since he has been called up from Albany. The person sent down in his place? Brad Richardson. It was a bit of a controversial move from a fan standpoint. Brad had gained a bit of a following with his solid play and Sakic-like wristshot. However, the fact remains that there isn't much room for him in the top two lines and his development was likely stagnating. Now he gets a chance to play some top-line minutes in the AHL and come back a better player for it.

Brett Mclean should also make his return tonight from a back injury that kept him out of the last 3 games. He should be fired up to try and make an impact. He's most likely back in a third-line role, possibly with Arnason and Hejduk who have been struggling lately but formed a pretty good line earlier on in the season.

Patrice Brisebois is still out with a back injury though with the return of Brett Mclean, it could mean that Kyle Cumiskey is back in street clothes tonight. It's unfortunate since he had a good game against Nashville but Kurt Sauer has stepped up his play lately so he will likely be the 6th d-man tonight. Hopefully the Avs blueline can get healthy and stabilize before the playoff stretch run because it's going to be tough to get in with inconsistent defense.

Puck drop is at 8:08 EST and I will unfortunately miss the game while I'm at a going-away supper for a friend. So a post-game analysis likely won't come until tomorrow at best. It will depend on getting a download of the game or being able to record the audio to listen back.

Patrice Brisebois - back, day-to-day
Jordan Leopold - groind, IR

Rob DiMaio - concussion, IR

Sakic has 18 in 12, Wolski has 8 in 5, Brunette has 8 in 6, Stastny has 7 in 6, Svatos has 2 in 2.

Lecavalier and St. Louis have 20 in 13, Richards has 13 in 13, Boyle has 9 in 6.

Laperriere has 0 in 10, Laaksonen has 0 in 9, Turgeon has 0 in 5, Arnason and Clark have 1 in 6, Hejduk has 1 in 5.

Alexeev and Craig have 0 in 5, Perrin has 0 in 3.

Peter Budaj - 10-8-1, 2.52 GAA, .906 save pct
Marc Denis - 9-11-2, 3.11 GAA, .878 save pct

Colorado - 19-18-2, 5th in NW, 10th in West
Tampa Bay - 19-20-2, 4th in Southeast, 13th in West


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