Sharks at Avalanche, Game 24 Preview

USA TODAY Sports

The Avs host a struggling San Jose side on their tail end of a back-to-back. Can Colorado do what they haven't been able to all season? Can they best the Sharks?

Tonight's game against the San Jose Sharks should say a lot about the Avs. After being the first team to take down the mighty Blackhawks on Friday, confidence will be soaring. Pair that with a healthy EJ, a Ryan O'Reilly who is back to game speed, and a red-hot Matt Duchene, and we are talking about a team with the tools to finally string together a couple of wins.

But hold on a second.

Yes, the Avs can take pride in dismantling Chicago (a game filled with scrums that were, by the way, totally normal and nothing to talk about anymore), but the Avs have always matched up well against the Blackhawks.

San Jose on the other hand, not so much.

The season series between the two teams includes a 4-0 drubbing of the Avs over at the HP Pavilion in January as well as a 3-2 shootout loss in February - a game the Avs had no business stealing a point from if not for Varly's 39 ridiculous cat-like saves, meow.

For the first time this season, the Avs force the Sharks to take care of business on foreign turf as they attempt to extend their home-streak to five wins in a row at the Pepsi Center (7-2-1 on the season). Not too shabby.

Points of interest

  • Matt Duchene has had seven multiple point games this year. Easily his best season to date.
  • The Sharks have scored more than two goals in regulation games just twice in their past 18 games. Needless to say, they are not playing their best hockey right now.
  • For all the love Duchene, Parenteau and Varlamov have been getting around the web, let's not forget John Mitchell. He was supposed to come back down to Earth but after another strong performance (1 goal, 3 shots, 3 blocked shots against CHI) he continues to impress. Avs management, don't let this guy go.
  • Colorado is catching San Jose on their 2nd game of a back-to-back. Take advantage of it.
  • I'm looking at former Shark Jamie McGinn to show up big today. Also he's fat.

From the words of the always-positive, Stastny-loving Adrian Dater:

"I said this on Twitter a few nights ago and meant it then and mean it now: the Avs are going to be a very good team soon."

Let's hope that "soon" starts tonight.

Game Time: 6:00pm MT, 8:00 ET

TV: Altitude

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