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Game 26: Sharks At Avalanche, Preview And Open Thread

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I have to say that the 2007-08 NHL season is officially the most ridiculous in the history of the sport, at least as far as the scheduling goes.  Hockey fans have complained a lot about the divisional overkill system that has been in effect since The Lockout, but the stupidity extends outside of the divisions, too.

This is the Avalanche schedule since November 20th until today:

Calgary-Edmonton-Calgary-Edmonton-San Jose-Los Angeles-San Jose

Seriously?  The last seven games have been played against just four teams.  That's just gottdamn ridiculous.  And not only that, but the Avs play Columbus (in Columbus) on Wednesday, December 5th and again (in Columbus) the very next Wednesday, December 12th.  Why?  If I was really interested in saving time, I could just copy and paste these game previews over and over and nobody would know the difference.

Anyway, the Avs play the Sharks again tonight, this time at home in the Pepsi Center.  They split a two-game road trip with a loss to said Sharks last Friday and a win against the Kings on Saturday.

As for the personnel, who knows?  Kurt Sauer has officially been placed on the IR list and they've called up poor Brad Richardson, who's probably starting to feel like a human yo-yo.  Joe Sakic, Ian Laperriere and Marek Svatos are all still listed as day-to-day with various "lower body injuries", and there's no word on Andrew Brunette's battle with the flu.

So, at this point, I pretty much don't have any idea who will be wearing an Avalanche uniform on the ice tonight.

The game starts at 7:00 PM Mountain time, 9:00 Eastern.  Unless I get dispatched by an angry pajama suit-wearing mall rat while Christmas shopping after work, I should be around to keep the thread going.  Not that I've really been needed the past couple of games, because a growing number of amazing, wonderful, perfect Mile High Hockey members have done it for me.  You know who you are, and know that I love you.

ESPN preview.