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Game 30: Avalanche At Blue Jackets, Preview And Open Thread

Wow, this seems familiar.  Exactly one week ago the Avalanche were in Columbus, at Nationwide Arena, playing the Blue Jackets.  The Avs were seriously "giving them the business" for two periods until it suddenly became meltdown city.

For those of you who may have blacked it out of your memory, the Avs lost 5-4 on some ridiculously lousy defense and some equally bad goaltending.  It was a sad spectacle.

This week, though, things are looking up.  For the first time since early November, Colorado is cruising on an actual winning streak (that means more than one win in a row!) and are hot off a huge 9-5 win over St. Louis on Sunday night.  

Though he gave up five fat beach ball goals against the Blues, Jose Theodore will get his third straight start tonight.  Though I'm pretty sure he doesn't deserve it, it's finally a sign of consistency from Coach Quenneville---and that's all I really want.  Well, that and this.  But consistent starts for either Theodore or Peter Budaj is a close second.  At this point I don't care which of them gets to play as long as they're given a chance to get into a legitimate rhythm and have the opportunity to build their confidence and team chemistry.

Besides, Theodore won't be in Colorado next season, so why not let him play a few more games?

Joe Sakic is still out with an injury to his Super Groin but is expected to be skating again very soon.  You can't rush a sore crotch, that's for sure.  Lappy is still out with a weak knee and won't play tonight, either, but he is expected to take on Jordin Tootoo and his Nashville ruffians on December 15th.  Leoprone is still out, but what's new?

Everybody else should be ready to go.

Before I leave the rest to you, valiant MHH members, be aware that the Northwest Division standings are now closer than ever.  A mere five points separate first place (Vancouver with 35) from last place (Deadmonton with 30).  Stuck directly in the middle is a little team called the Avalanche, who may want to keep winning if they don't want to find themselves lower in the standings than the Lowe Tide.  

That would be too much for me to take.

The good news is, a Colorado win and a Vancouver loss tonight would put the Avs back in first place!

The game starts at 5:00 PM Mountain time, 7:00 PM Eastern.  I'm not entirely convinced that I'll be around to contribute to the thread, but rest assured that my heart is with all of you, and the team.  Let's get some goals!

ESPN preview.