Pre-game vs Edmonton - Feb 3, 2007 - Colorado Avalanche Updates, News and Game Reviews at Avs Talk

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Pre-game vs Edmonton - Feb 3, 2007

It's a CBC matinee game between two teams in precarious positions. The Avalanche and Oilers are tied for last in the NW division with 54 points. It's a mere 6 points back of Minnesota so a win for either team would be huge. Both these teams are in playoff mode now as they fight to actually make the postseason.

The Avalanche are coming off a loss to Minnesota where they had battled back from 1-goal deficits all game but couldn't overcome the final one. The Avalanche didn't play a terrible game by any means but they could stand to play better no doubt. The Oilers are coming off their own loss at the hands of the Vancouver Canucks who are tied with Calgary for the lead in the division.

Peter Budaj is now "penciled in" as the start tonight after rumour was that Theodore might get the start. It's not a bad move as Budaj didn't play terrible last game. However, I would expect to see Theodore get a start at some time during this homestand. If anything, just to give Budaj a break. He played spectularly in a few games but has come somewhat down to earth as of late and played solid, but not great. Which is certainly fine by me, as long as the team shows up to help out!

Marek Svatos broke his goal-scoring drought on Thursday when he channeled every ounce of energy he had to blast a slapshot past Niklas Backstrom. You could see the relief on his face after he scored! Let's hope that he continues up on that performance tonight. Pairing him with Milan Hejduk has really seemed to put a jump in both their steps. They haven't pulled the trigger much on any "magic plays" with each other but you've got to give them time to find each others grooves. I think they could form a great combo, regardless of who's at center. It sure doesn't hurt that the center now is Paul Stastny who's more than willing to work hard to get those two the puck.

The Avalanche need to put an end to the recent streaks of Ales Hemsky and Ryan Smyth. They have 8 and 6 points respectively in the last 3. Shutting down Smyth is a near impossible task but with Hemsky you've got to throw the body on him. He has such slick hands and moves but always leaves himself open to some bone-crunching hits. To his credit, he never stays down on them, but after a few of those it will certainly make him tentative of doing any toe-dragging moves.

Brisebois - back, LTI
Liles - foot, IR
May - shoulder, IR

Moreau - shoulder, IR
Tjarnqvist - groin, day-to-day

Wolski, Hejduk, and Brunette have 3 in 2, Sakic has 10 in 9, Stastny has 12 in 13, Clark has 5 in 5.

Hemsky has 8 in 3, Smyth has 6 in 3, Reasoner and Pisani have 3 in 2.

Arnason has 1 in 5, Laperriere has 0 in 3.

Bergeron has 1 in 6.

Peter Budaj - 16-11-3, 2.64 GAA, .909 save pct
Dwayne Roloson - 20-20-4, 2.78 GAA, .906 save pct

Colorado - 25-22-4th in NW, 9th in West
Edmonton - 25-23-4, 5th in NW, 10th in West


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