Gameday: Avalanche vs Flames - Colorado Avalanche Updates, News and Game Reviews at Avs Talk

Monday, March 24, 2008

Gameday: Avalanche vs Flames

Hammer and nail
Tonight marks what could be a turning point in the Avalanche season...or the first nail in their coffin.

On a 4-game losing skid, the Avalanche maintain a seemingly futile grip on the 8th and final playoff spot in the West with Nashville and Edmonton - heck, even Chicago - tugging at their heels. They will be facing a Flames team which recently took down the Minnesota Wild to pull within one point of the division lead - and looked good while doing it.

If the Avalanche were to win tonight and the Oilers pull out a W over the Wild, the Avalanche's playoff hopes will dip below the 50% mark. Conversely, if the Avalanche win and the Wild take down the Oilers, their playoff hopes climb to 82%. Quite the swing that could happen tonight so hopefully the players come prepared.

Inconsistency and Frustration
Unfortunately, the players sound more frustrated than fired up based on Dater's latest article in the DP. Of course no player is going to flat out say that so everybody is reading between the lines when Andrew Brunette cites chemistry and "different things" as the cause of the Avalanche struggles. But if you ask the coach, there should be no troubles since each line tonight has played with together at some point in the season. Um...right. I'll just give my head a shake and move on from there. Oh, but first I'll point out that Forsberg has yet to play with Arnason. But who's counting?

Starting Goaltender
Jose Theodore is back between the pipes in what's been one of the things I feel Quenneville has properly handled. Theodore was stellar throughout the second half but stumbled a bit against New Jersey and Edmonton. However rather than planting him on the bench, he has showed confidence in him and hopefully Theodore will prove him right because now is not the time to stumble in the goal crease.

Wolski Out of the Doghouse
Wojtek Wolski will find himself back on the #1 line with Joe Sakic and Andrew Brunette. Q has liked what he's seen in Wolski the last couple games - I don't think he's been much different - so has bumped David Jones down to play with Tyler Arnason and that Peter Forsberg guy.

Forsberg In?
And in case you hadn't figured it out, it sounds like Peter Forsberg is very likely to play tonight. Hopefully he doesn't play 20+ minutes and then sit out for the remainder of the season with a sore groin/broken ankle/severed pinky toe. Having him on the third line with Arnason would seem to indicate he'll see less ice time than playing on the #1 unit but you never know what will happen come game time.

Game time
The puck drops at 9:38pm ET and I have to decide if I want to shell out money to listen to Roger Millions and Charlie Simmer on Flames PPV or if I can handle watching the game via an Internet feed.

But if that's my biggest problem for the day, I'll consider myself lucky.

Related Links
Hart talk comes West
Avalanche Lines for Tonight
2008 Countdown to the Cup Coverage at NHL.com

4 Comments:

Adrian said...

Puck drops at 9:30 p.m. EST, not 9

Shane Giroux said...

Ooops, thanks Adrian. I was going by TSN's listing so somebody is asleep at the switch there too ;)

I've also adjusted it to include the standard 8 minutes for pre-game festivities.

Jay Veaner said...

It's official, Forsberg will play tonight. Hopefully the minutes he plays are meaningful ones. A few goals on the power play never hurt anyone's cause either.

Magnum said...

Well, lets hope Forsberg doesn't get hurt. That's wishful thinking, though.

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