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Game 5: Avalanche At Stars, Preview And Open Thread

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Colorado Avalanche
Dallas Stars
1-3-0 October 18, 2008 1-2-1
American Airlines Center
Dallas, TX

It's been a rough first week for the Colorado Avalanche. They dropped the first three games by just one goal each time, and their lone win came against the Flyers, arguably the worst team in the entire NHL right now. Peter Budaj, desperate to establish himself as the reliable starting goalie, is still without a win or a game with a save percentage over .900. His backup, the much-maligned Andrew Raycroft, wasn't great but was still good enough to get the team's lone victory.
Originally, the plan was to play Budaj three or four straight games then give him a rest and play Raycroft for one game. Well, for reasons possibly not fully understood, Coach Tony Granato has elected to start Raycroft again, this time against the Dallas Stars.
The Stars, like the Avs, are a pretty strong team on paper. In the standings, however, their record doesn't reflect that. After dropping the first game of the year against Columbus in overtime, the Stars then lost to Nashville, then beat Nashville, then got beat bad by the Blues. They are no doubt looking to avenge that loss with a decisive victory over the unsure Avalanche.
A win by the Avalanche would be great, but a really impressive performance by Raycroft might throw the whole goalie arrangement into chaos. We'll see.
The game starts early, at noon Mountain time. Due to an excessive amount of school work to do, I will only be able to stop in on the game thread here and there. Day games are traditionally weak on turnout anyway, but hopefully a few of you will be around.