Game 61 Preview: Avalanche At Thrashers

Matchavalanche_medium
Vs_medium
Matchthrashers_medium

Colorado Avalanche
7:00 pm ET / 5:00 pm MT
 Atlanta Thrashers
 28-31-1 February 24, 2009
21-33-6
 57 points
Philips Arena
48 points
15th in the West
Atlanta, GA
14th in the East

The Avalanche, for a change, are actually facing a team lower than them in the overall standings. The Thrashers have a potent offense, led by guys like Ilya Kovulchuk and Bryan Little. Fortunately, they seem to stink defensively and are allowing 3.5 goals per game. The previous sentence, of course, is meant to foreshadow Keri Lehtonen's imminent shutout this evening.

The big news, of course, is the expected return of Paul Stastny after a 26-game break (longest Christmas vacation. EVER). On Sunday, Peter McNab suggested the top two lines may be McLeod, Stastny, Hejduk & Smyth, Wolksi, Svatos. That, with the substitution of Stewart for McLeod, is how I pegged it a while back, so those lines certainly make sense to me. I have to say, you can criticize Tony Granato for a number of things (special teams especially), but he generally has done a good job with the way he's handled his lines. He needs to get Chris Stewart off that 4th line, though.

In a weird quirk of the schedule, the Thrashers will be in Denver two weeks from today to take on the Avs. If the game is as physical as they were on Sunday, there's an opportunity to generate a little bad blood between the two teams. Then again, half of these guys could be on new teams by then...


GP MIN W L T EGA GA GAA SA SV SV% SO
2008 - Peter Budaj 42 2440 16 23 1 4 120 2.95 1171 1051 .898 1


GP MIN W L T EGA GA GAA SA SV SV% SO
2008 - Kari Lehtonen 33 1883 11 18 3 4 99 3.15 1075 976 .908 1


Tale of the Tape

Colorado Avalanche
Atlanta Thrashers
57 25th
Points 48 29th
2.62
23rd
GF/G 2.87
13th
3.08
27th
GA/G 3.50 29th
16.7%
21st
PP% 20.2% 11th
78.8%
25th
PK% 74.7% 29th
48.4%
28th
FO% 50.8% 11th
12.4
6th
PIM/G 14.2 16th


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