The Avalanche host the Flames tonight at the Pepsi Center in lovely downtown Denver. Neither team has been tearing it up lately and each are probably licking their collective lips in hopes that they can get a boost tonight from a division win.
The Avs and Flames have a weird recent history together, with each team taking turns owning the other. The Avalanche won 6-3 in the last meeting and have won the last 3 meetings between the clubs. Before that, Calgary had won the last 9 - yikes - including a certain February 14th game that didn't actually happen. Between Jan 18, 2009 and Jan 11, 2010, the Avalanche won 6 straight against Calgary. Before that, 4 straight for the Flames. So, it seems to be feast or famine for these teams and lately the Avs have been the Feasters (yes, I did that)
Avalanche leading scorer Matt Duchene missed Tuesday's game against the Sharks. He didn't practice on Wednesday and although he hasn't been ruled out for tonight....well, you follow the team enough to finish that sentence on your own. With twelve healthy forwards and a roster spot open, the Avalanche may call up someone from Lake Erie today for nacho duty. The Monsters are idle until Saturday, so there shouldn't be any concern about making a hole in the LEM lineup.
Semyon Varlamov is the confirmed starter for the Avalanche. He watched from the bench in the first meeting when the Avalanche gave J.S. Giguere 6 goals of support (actually, it was the closest 6-3 game you will ever see). Mikka Kiprusoff is on the IR for the Flames, so - backup warning - former Red Wing Joey MacDonald is the expected starter.