Pre-game vs San Jose - Mar 18, 2007 - Colorado Avalanche Updates, News and Game Reviews at Avs Talk

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Pre-game vs San Jose - Mar 18, 2007

The march to the playoffs continues for the Avalanche as they welcome the San Jose Sharks to the Pepsi Center. The Avs are coming off a bit 6-3 win over Phoenix which moves them within 6 points of Calgary for the final playoff spot. A win tonight against San Jose will move them within 4, with a game still in hand. It's not going to be easy as the Sharks are on a 4-game winning streak which has seen each of their goaltenders record a shutout and allowing a grand total of 2 goals in those 4 games.

If they are going to get past the Sharks, they are going to again have to look to Joe Sakic to keep the game under control while allowing players such as Stastny, Hejduk and Brunette to work their magic and keep the offense rolling. And it wouldn't be a bad idea to try and shut down players such as Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau, possibly the most potent 1-2 punch at center in the NHL. If Thornton's 8 points in 3 games doesn't speak of domination, I don't know what does. Possibly Michalek's 5 in 2?

They'll also need to look to Peter Budaj to continue his solid play. He gave up a weaker goal in the first period against Phoenix but decided to shut the door in the third period to give his team a chance to pot the final two goals to ensure the win was in the bag. If he can keep coming up clutch when the game is on the line, this team will get the chance to win every night. His GAA in the last 7 games is under 2.00 so he has been a very large part of this recent winning streak.

Brisebois - back, IR
Turgeon - calf, IR
Leopold - wrist, mid-March
Skrastins - knee, day-to-day

Smith - groin, day-to-day

Stastny has 19 in 12, Hejduk has 13 in 9, Sakic has 5 in 2, Brunette has 4 in 2.

Thornton has 8 in 3, Michalek has 5 in 2, Cheechoo has 4 in 2, Guerin has 5 in 3, Carle has 10 in 11.

Arnason has 0 in 5, Liles has 1 in 5.

Brown and Bernier have 0 in 3.

Peter Budaj - 25-15-5, 2.71 GAA, .906 save pct
Evgeni Nabokov - 19-16-2, 2.22 GAA, .914 save pct

Colorado - 36-29-6, 4th in NW, 9th in West
San Jose - 44-25-3, 2nd in Pacific, 5th in West


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