Thursday, March 1, 2007

Pre-game vs Chicago - Mar 1, 2007

The 5-game roadtrip for Avalanche makes its first stop in the Windy City as they invade the United Center. It's hopefully the start of a 5-game winning streak as well! The Avalanche are coming off a 3-2 win against Columbus which say a 3-0 lead nearly evaporate in the final 2 minutes of play. The Hawks are coming off a loss to Detroit in which leading scorer Martin Havlat did not play. And of course Bryan Smolinski, their #2 point getter, didn't play as he was traded to the Canucks on Monday.

Struggling goaltender Peter Budaj put in a good showing against the Jackets and will get the start in goal tonight. Budaj has seen his GAA drop from 2.41 in early January to his current 2.85. A bit of the mid-season doldrums it appears as he seems to be turning his play around. And if I were to hazard a guess at a starting goaltender for Chicago, I think the safe bet is on Khabibulin being between the pipes. His stats are on par with Budaj's as he's had an up and down season as well.

It sounds like Scott Parker will be in the lineup so look forward to seeing him. For about 2 or 3 minutes. He's coming off an ankle injury and he was never really deserved of playing any more than 5 or 6 minutes a game so he'll likely see limited ice-time, skating on the fourth line ever 3 shifts or so. But I could be wrong and he'll skate on the top line with Sakic and score seven goals. It's possible.

Peter Statsny continues his hot streak tonight according to I don't know how he continues to rack up the points considering that he doesn't play anymore, aside from a backyard rink from time to time. His son Paul continutes to light the lamp as well as he's on a 13 game point streak. That streak is tops in the NHL at the moment. 8 goals and 11 assists during that time have propelled him to #2 in the rookie scoring race.

Brisebois - back, LTI
Leopold - wrist, mid-March
Skrastins - knee, day-to-day
Turgeon - calf, IR

Barker - ankle, day-to-day
Handzus - knee, mid-March
Salmelainen - hip, IR
Vandermeer - ankle, IR

Stastny has 19 in 13, Brunette has 14 in 8, Sakic has 19 in 12, Hejduk has 4 in 2, Rycroft has 3 in 3, Guite has 2 in 2.

Hamilton and Seabrook have 2 in 2.

Both Colorado goaltenders

Lapointe and Arkhipov have 0 in 6, Bourque has 0 in 4, Ruutu has 1 in 6, Sharp has 1 in 5.

Peter Budaj - 19-15-4, 2.85 GAA, .903 save pct
Nikolai Khabibulin - 20-19-5, 2.78 GAA, .902 save pct

Colorado - 30-29-5, 5th in NW, 10th in West
Chicago - 23-31-9, 4th in Central, 13th in West