Pre-game vs Vancouver - Mar 27, 2007 - Colorado Avalanche Updates, News and Game Reviews at Avs Talk

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Pre-game vs Vancouver - Mar 27, 2007

It's an important night in the Western conference tonight. Well, for 4 teams in the Western conference anyways. Colorado is looking to inch closer to Calgary for the final playoff spot in the West while Vancouver looks to retake the undisputed division lead over Minnesota. Some of those items are mutually exclusive though as those 4 teams play amongst themselves tonight. So as much as Vancouver fans want Colorado to knock out Calgary (and it seems most do), they find themselves cheering for the Flames tonight as they'd much rather their team win the division. It's kind of like Sophie's Choice.

The Avalanche will try to edge closer to, or at least keep pace with, the Flames with Jose Theodore in net. After all the speculation after Sunday's game, it's finally official that he will be in goal tonight. That in itself is an interesting dilemma. If the Avs lose, it will be due to Theodore being in goal. If they win, it will be in spite of Theodore being in goal (to many fans). So Q can look either like a lucky man or an idiotic man. Here's to hoping he ends up looking like a lucky man! Theodore does have good stats against Vancouver this year so hopefully he can keep that up. He looked ok in relief Sunday and well enough in the shootout. And if Q feels he's good to start, then I'd like to think that he's looked good in practice as well.

Wojtek Wolski will be back in the lineup tonight after being a healthy scratch on Sunday. The last time he was a healthy scratch, we all know what happened. He came out on fire and I hope that happens again. He's looked absolutely lost on the ice lately and maybe watching from the press box helped him analyze his game a bit. He has still had a very good rookie season though and there's no reason to get down on him for the future. It's just the "now" that hasn't been so hot.

The current reigning ironman makes his return to the ice after missing time with a knee injury. Or did Morrison pass him and he's now the reigning defensive ironman? Either way, you all know I'm talking about Karlis Skrastins. To make room for him, Ossi Vaananen finds himself the healthy scratch. I'm ok with it b/c it keeps Finger in and I've liked the fire he brings to the ice. Vaananen hasn't been too hot lately either so this shouldn't be much of an issue. The only question is if it will disrupt a defensive core that has had a fair bit of success lately.

Joe Sakic will obviously be in the lineup tonight and he enters the lineup tied with Ray Borque for 9th all-time in scoring as well as being tied with Dino Ciccarelli for 15th on all-time goal scoring. So if he scores a goal tonight he takes sole possession of each spot and will even further solidify his hall of fame status. I'm not sure how much more it could be solidified but where's there's a Joe, there's a way. And if he were to score that goal on the powerplay, he becomes only the 14th player to score 200 powerplay goals. Well, I guess that's the way to solidify it even more!

Brett Mclean shared the hero status in yesterday's game with Joe Sakic. He scored a softie goal on Luongo (and you don't get many of those!) and got the shootout winner as well. He has been playing fairly well on the 2nd line with Hejduk and Stastny. He certainly isn't a superstar player by any means but he has 3 points in his last 2 games and has 8 in his last 11. I'm happy with numbers like that from a guy simply playing the complimentary position to the Hejduk-Stastny tandem.

Sakic has 11 in 5, Brunette has 11 in 6, Hejduk has 16 in 13, Mclean has 3 in 2, Arnason has 5 in 3.

Sedin #1 has 9 in 5, Sedin #2 has 5 in 3, Linden has 5 in 5, Pyatt has 2 in 2.

Stastny has 0 in 4, Wolski has 1 in 4.

Smolinski has 0 in 3, Cowan has 1 in 5.

Brisebois - back, IR
Leopold - wrist, IR
Turgeon - calf, IR

Kesler - hip, IR
Ohlund - elbow, day-to-day
Salo - groin, day-to-day

Jose Theodore - 12-14-1, 3.35 GAA, .885 save pct
Roberto Luongo - 43-20-6, 2.29 GAA, .921 save pct

Colorado - 39-29-7, 4th in NW, 9th in West
Vancouver - 45-23-7, 1st in NW, 3rd in West


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