The Colorado Avalanche start their three game road trip today with a game against the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Blue Jackets have lost their last four games, two of these while in overtime. The Avalanche are riding high after their character-filled win against Calgary on Thursday night.
Colorado won the last meeting against the Blue Jackets on January 24th with a 4-0 score. Semyon Varlamov had the shutout, and was assisted with two goals by Matt Duchene and a goal for each P.A. Parenteau and John Mitchell. Last season each team took home two wins in their matchups.
The Avalanche are gearing up to have another emotionally charged game: Jean-Sebastien Giguere will not be at the game as his mother has recently passed away and he will be attending her funeral. Erik Johnson and Ryan Wilson are both on the road trip - which leads to hopes that these two men will be able to be back during this road-trip to help the anemic Avalanche defense. The biggest news of all, though, Ryan O`Reilly will be participating in his first game since signing an offer sheet with the Calgary Flames and forcing Avalanche management into making a decision on Ryan. The Avalanche chose to keep him rather swiftly. From all accounts O'Reilly looks to be in game-shape and ready to prove that character can win games. He is slotted to play with John Mitchell and Milan Hejduk.
According to NHL.com David Jones is still listed as day-to-day and it is unknown if he will be playing this game. Also, Artem Anisimov will be playing with the Jackets today after sustaining a rather scary head injury while in Detroit, this will be his second game back since the game in Detroit. The Columbus Blue Jackets forced their last game into overtime, no small feat considering it was against the unstoppable Chicago Blackhawks.
If you are in the area, there are a number of tickets still left starting at $25. Puck drops at 3 pm ET, 1 PM MT.