Saturday, October 13, 2007

Game Preview: Avalanche vs Blue Jackets

(AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Well, it's time for the Avs to pick themselves up, brush off their jerseys, and pull out a big win at home. After being mildly embarrassed last night against the Blues, they better come out pissed off and hungry for a win.

I'm pissed off and I'm not even on the team. The effort put in last night was reminiscent of last season's team and I really really really hoped that was all behind them. I truly don't understand how a team with players such as Sakic, Hannan, Smyth and Laperriere can be lacking drive, passion and intensity. My mind is boggled.

They'll be coming up against a hot goaltender in Pascal Leclaire. Leclaire has shut out the Ducks and the Coyotes and has yet to let in a goal this season. But as they say - or is that just what I say? - the more things stay the same, the more likely they are to change.

Colorado will have Peter Budaj between the pipes as the plan all along was for Budaj and Theodore to split time in goal this weekend. Theodore put in a non-brilliant performance against the Blues while Budaj is coming off a back-and-forth set of games.

So again, the Avalanche are seeing hot/cold/lukewarm goaltending from their duo and that's another thing that must change. Budaj should put in a solid showing tonight as he tends to rebound well.

Jordan Leopold is likely to sit out again with a hip injury. I don't often buy in to the "injury prone" moniker but this guy is fitting it to a "T" with the Avalanche. Just look at his injury history. That's just since March of '06.

The Avalanche are unbeaten at home this season (2-0) while the Blue Jackets lost their only road game this season against the Wild. However those don't feel like long enough streaks for the aforementioned "change philosophy" to come into play. Or so my brain is telling me.

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