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Game 18: Flames At Avalanche, Preview And Open Thread

Minnesota Wild
Colorado Avalanche
10-8-1 November 20, 2008 8-9-0
Pepsi Center
Denver, CO

About the only thing the Avalanche have going for them tonight is the fact that the Calgary Flames generally play like garbage in Denver. Other than that, the prospects for a win tonight are bleak, even with Peter Budaj in net. He's been phenomenal lately, but the team in front of him has looked about as interested in playing hockey as I am in studying for my upcoming finals (not at all, in other words).
Thankfully, we won't see the Flames again until late January.
Joe Sakic won't be playing again tonight, having succumbed to the continuing negligence of the Avalanche training staff. Mike Chambers at the Denver Post reports that Super Joe hurt his back lifting weights, much like Milan Hejduk did at the beginning of last season. How did it happen, you ask?

Sakic, 39, said he sustained his first significant back injury doing lightweight "cleans," a barbell movement from the floor that is intended to strengthen the core.

"I did it wrong, I guess," Sakic said.

A clean is a technical Olympic lift, and correct form is very important to prevent injuries like the one Sakic has apparently suffered. But if you've been properly trained and are lifting a weight you can handle with close supervision, injuries are far more rare. One of these factors was missing, and the blame must fall on the training staff. Again.
Ben Guite will also miss another game with injured ribs. Or colon cancer. Or a ruptured testicle. Who knows? This is the Colorado Avalanche we're talking about, so he could be suffering from just about anything.
The weight of the world is on coach Tony Granato's shoulders now. If the Avs play tonight as uninterested and uninspired as they were on Tuesday, a serious effort to get him ousted might pick up steam. The team can't afford to finish the month of November deep in the Northwest Division basement. That's a real possibility at this point.
ESPN preview.