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Game 72: Oilers At Avalanche, Preview And Open Thread

The Avs are in good shape right now.  Calgary lost last night, and so did Vancouver, which leaves Colorado in a tie for the top spot in the Northwest Division going into tonight's game against surprisingly resilient Edmonton.  The Oilers have been pretty hot lately, and a win against the Avs would compliment their continued good fortunes.  Luckily for the Avs, though, the Oilers seem to only win in overtime, which means a point in the standings for our boys and that would still help.

As far as injuries go, Ryan Smyth and Ruslan Salei both participated in a "scaled-down practice" on Wednesday and appear to be ready and/or just about ready to return.  Salei's eye is improving and Smyth's concussion symptoms are gone.  

Adam Foote and Peter Forsberg remain mysteries, though, since neither skated on Wednesday and the team has played its usual hall of mirrors injury report routine.  Coach Q seemed optimistic about Foppa coming back, but his status has still not been confirmed as of this posting.  Foote's condition is also unknown.

Definitely not returning soon is Jordan Leopold, who I actually feel really sorry for.  The guy's been injured more than Matt Hoffman.  He might be made out of glass, but he's not a bad defenseman (usually) and a pretty nice guy (always), from what I've heard.  Hopefully next season he can finally toss aside his Leoprone nickname.

Finally, since the game tonight is against the Oilers, Tyler Arnason has no excuse not to score four goals and lead his team to a brilliant, dominating victory.  Arnason, the offensive machine that he is, has 2 points in his last 15 games, which totally explains why Wojtek Wolski (9 points in his last 15) and Jaroslav Hlinka (8 points in his last 15) have been healthy scratches while Arny's spot on the ice has never been at risk.  I guess Coach Q was just warming him up for the predictable Oilers-killing onslaught that he's so well-known for.

The game starts at 7:30 PM Mountain time, 9:30 PM Eastern.  If you're not at the game you had better be here.  And even if you're at the game, take a laptop---it's just not the same here without you.  

ESPN preview.