Pre-game vs LA - Feb 24, 2007 - Colorado Avalanche Updates, News and Game Reviews at Avs Talk

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Pre-game vs LA - Feb 24, 2007

It's going to be a rough stretch of the season starting now as the Avalanche are all but eliminated from the playoffs. Unless of course they decide to go on a 16 game winning streak. And even that wouldn't necessarily guarantee a spot! Nonetheless, I'm not going to be discouraged from watching their games. This team has a lot of reasons to happy and their names are Stastny, Wolski, Richardson, Budaj, etc. It's always fun to watch young players grow into stars and, hopefully, lead their franchises to glory.

Tonight they will take another step in their development as they head to California to take on the Los Angeles Kings. The Kings are (unofficially) mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. The most points they can attain is 90 and that most likely will not be good enough. So it's a battle of one team resigned to its fate and another team still hoping to postpone the inevitable for as long as possible.

Peter Budaj is set to start tonight with a chance of seeing Jose Theodore in goal tomorrow against the Ducks. And although Theodore was never stellar in his play, I think this latest stretch of games showed that goaltending wasn't the problem with this team. Defensive play, more than anything, led to the situation the team is in. Even with Budaj playing fairly well until his recent slump, the team never really scraped above that .500 barrier that has plagued them all season.

A few of the Avalanche young and old will be looking to extend point streaks tonight. Paul Stastny continues his strong rookie season as he currently enjoys a 10 game point streak where he has 15 points, including 7 goals. Andrew Brunette looks to extend his 8 game point streak of 4 goals and 12 points. And Mr. Joe Sakic is going for #11 on his streak where he has netted 5 goals and 18 points. I nearly forget Hejduk's 10 in 7 as well. As you can see, there is a whole lot of offense going on for this team!

Wojtek Wolski is optimistic about playing tonight. Coach Q would only say he would "most likely" play. It turned out to be a mild concussion and Wolski was kept off the ice as a precaution. He never fully lost consciousness while on the ice so should be just fine by now. It was a smart move to keep him away from contact though to be sure he was fully cleared up.

If Wolski does play, I'd expect him to rejoin Sakic and Brunette on the the top line. And if Q continues to enjoy having Edward Scissorhands with Hejduk and Stastny, then Richardson might well drop back to the 4th line. Which is extremely unfortunate as Richardson looked to be markedly improving during his time on the #1 line. But if there's no room on the #1, the #2 and #3 lines appear set so he'll be resigned to his fate of 10 minutes a game, including some PK time.

Brisebois - back, LTI
Turgeon - calf, IR
Leopold - wrist, mid-March
Wolski - concussion, day-to-day

Cloutier - hip, IR
Ivanans - arm, IR
McCauley - knee, indefinite
Petiot - knee, IR

Stastny has 5 in 2, Sakic has 10 in 5, Brunette has 9 in 5, Hejduk has 10 in 7, Richardson has 4 in 5.

Kopitar has 5 in 3, Cammaleri has 4 in 2, Visnovsky has 3 in 2, Sopel has 3 in 4.

Avs are stable on this front

Brown has 0 in 6, Willsie and Lundmark have 0 in 4, Blake has 0 in 5.

Peter Budaj - 18-15-3, 2.82 GAA, .904 save pct
Sean Burke - 4-3-2, 2.22 GAA, .931 save pct

Colorado -
LA Kings -


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