Pre-game vs Minnesota - Feb 1, 2007 - Colorado Avalanche Updates, News and Game Reviews at Avs Talk

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Pre-game vs Minnesota - Feb 1, 2007

It's the most important game of the year! At least until Saturday's game against Edmonton. Then that will be the most important game of the year! Maybe the problem with Avalanche up til now is that they forgot that every game is the most important game of the year, no matter who it's against or where you are in the standings. They all matter and you have to play like every single point matters, not just the ones down the stretch.

As I glance at the TSN standings page, much to my surprise, the Avalanche are in a playoff spot. After a brief moment of wondering if I'd entered an alternate dimension, I realized that all the division leaders are missing which bumped Colorado, Edmonton, and Phoenix into playoff contention. Interesting idea. Division leaders aren't allowed to make the playoffs. It makes sense as division leadesr tend to have lousy success at winning Cups. I wonder if Bettman will go for it or at least put it to a vote.

Going into this game, the Avalanche are 5-3-2 in their last 10 and have a 9-5-1 record against their division. Numbers that, if kept up, will surely have them back into playoff position in a few weeks. The real question is whether they can keep those numbers up. Some of those points were stolen from other teams just as other teams stole points from us. So maybe it's all a wash in the end! The team needs to improve their home record though if they really want to start jumping in the standings (and putting butts in the seats). A 14-10-3 record isn't abysmal but it sure has room for improvement.

Manny Fernandez is sitting out tonights game with a knee injury he re-aggravated. So that puts Niklas Backstrom between the pipes. With a 0.98 GAA and .957 save doesn't put a smile on my face. Hey, maybe they'll call up Harding and put him in net tonight to see how the kid handles pressure. It could happen.

Peter Budaj should be back in goal tonight after recovering from a shaky performance against the Coyotes. His performance in the Avs 4-minute PK against Nashville was likely the turning point that gave the Avs the momentum to finish off that game. When asked about the importance of the remaining games, Budaj gave it straight up. Essentially his comments were that there aren't as many games left as you might think the way the NW division is and preparation starts right from him (or Theodore) and filters down to the team. Nothing like seeing a goalie step up and say "It all starts with me".

Wojtek Wolski had a heck of a game against Nashville save for his blunder in the final minute. When asked about it, Wolski made no excuses. He owned up to it and said it won't happen again. Ah, refreshing to see that sort of attitude. Actually, it seems that most players on the team are willing to own up to their mistakes. Too bad they have to do it so often.

Brisebois - back, out for season
Liles - foot, IR
May - shoulder, IR

Foster - knee, IR
White - knee, IR
Fernandez - knee, day-to-day

Sakic has 10 in 8, Stastny has 12 in 12, Brunette has 6 in 5, Clark has 4 in 4, Wolski has 3 in 2.

Gaborik has 10 in 9, Rolston, Nummelin and Bouchard have 3 in 2, Demitra has 3 in 3.

Svatos has 0 in 7, Hejduk has 1 in 4, Arnason has 1 in 4.

Johnsson has 0 in 4, Radivojevic has 0 in 5.

Peter Budaj - 16-10-3, 2.6 GAA, .910 save pct
Niklas Backstrom - 5-5-3, 2.01 GAA, .909 save pct

Colorado - 25-21-4, 4th in NW, 9th in West
Minnesota -27-21-4, 3rd in NW, 8th in West


Post a Comment