| || || |
| Colorado Avalanche ||7pm ET / 5pm MT || Philadelphia Flyers |
|15-14-1||December 16, 2008||16-7-6|
| 31 points ||Wachovia Center || 38 Points |
| T-9th in West || Philadelphia, PA || 4th in East |
By all accounts, this is a game the Avs shouldn't win. Tonight, just like last night when they faced the Red Wings, Colorado is up against a vastly superior team who excels at both ends of the ice even without consistently amazing goaltending. The Philadelphia Flyers have won their last four games, scoring 17 goals during regulation and overtime in that span. The Avs are barely above .500 again and their offense sputters and chokes like my old '89 F-150. But I don't mean to drag crap from Detroit into this preview, because that was last game and this one involves crap from Philly.
The Flyers have not suffered from a lack of punch this year. They are one of five teams who have scored 100 goals, while forwards Simon Gagne, Mike Richards and Jeff Carter are all near the top of the league in points scored. They also have one of the best power plays in the league, second only to the Wings and best in the East.
But where the Fly Guys (copyright pending) aren't top notch is their defense. In one less game than the Avs have played, the Flyers have allowed two more goals against. And remember that the Avs aren't a very good hockey team. So that's bad for Philadelphia. And neither of their goalies, Martin Biron nor Antero Nittymaki, are really worth a damn. So there's that.
The Avs are still suffering from injury problems, but it shouldn't be much longer before Ben Guite and Marek Svatos are back to full strength (I hear). The rest of the team is still hanging in there (Sakic excluded, of course). And Peter Budaj is fully rested after getting spared the previous night's incompetent and unimaginative heckling from the savage barbarians who now only fill some of the seats at Joe Louis Arena. But again I digress to Murder City. Sorry.
The one really reassuring fact about the matchup is that the Avs have owned the Flyers in their own building lately. Over their last ten visits to Philly, Colorado has an 8-1-1 record. The only wild card is that Peter Budaj has never faced them, ever.
The game starts at 7 PM Eastern, 5 PM Mountain. I might actually be around for this one, since I'm out of school until early January. So keep an eye out, you yokels.
|2008 - Peter Budaj||26||1514||11||13||1||1||69||2.73||708||639||.903||1|
|2008 - Antero Niittymaki||10||556||5||1||2||1||25||2.70||276||251||.909||1|