Apologies for the late preview folks, it appears that I've taken the Colorado Avalanche approach to starting on time. [DDC: And since this is going up late AND Saturday's are slow AND I'm lazy, we're going to use this as the game thread as well]
Shockingly, the Avalanche earned 3 out of 4 possible points on their California roadtrip this week, beating the Anaheim Ducks and losing to the LA Kings in a shootout. Now the Avalanche travel back to Denver to take on the likely division champs: the Vancouver Canucks.
The Avs are 0-3 against Vancouver this season, and unfortunately that's not an abberation for this team. Here's what I said in our Game 31 preview against the Canucks.
"The Avalanche's last regulation win over the Vancouver Canucks was a 3-0 win at the Pepsi Center on October 3, 2009. For perspective, that was Matt Duchene and Ryan O'Reilly's second career NHL game. Craig Anderson pitched the shutout whileWojtek Wolskiand Darcy Tucker both scored goals. That is how long it's been since the Colorado Avalanche beat the Vancouver Canucks in just 60 minutes of play."
2 Vancouver losses later and its still true.
On the bright side, rookie netminder Sami Aittokallio, who left Thursday's game with a scary looking leg injury is healthy and will back up J.S. Giguere this afternoon. The rookie was unable to finish his first NHL game due to a hydration error (and associated leg cramps). He played well against the Kings and hopefully he sees another start before the end of the season.
- Erik Johnson will likely miss this afternoons game with an injured wrist.
- Matt Duchene and P.A. Parenteau have slipped off their PPG pace, each needs 3 points this afternoon to reach 1.00 PPG.
Game time: 1:00 MT on ALT.
EDIT: On a bright note. The Avalanche's tragic number is 1. In other words, a loss today and the Avalanche are officially eliminated from the playoffs.