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WCS Game 4: Red Wings At Avalanche, Preview And Open Thread

In some ways, it's hard to believe this could be the last game of the season for the Avalanche.  In other ways, it's hard to believe the season didn't end on April 6th.  But I'm not going to write a season wrap-up just yet, since the Avs could still conceivably win tonight and keep their playoff hopes on life support for a bit longer.

Paul Stastny, Ryan Smyth and Wojtek Wolski are all out for sure.  They won't be back even if the Avs pull a Red Sox and make it to the next round.  Marek Svatos, if he's off his crutches by now, has been warming up the local golf courses for his teammates.  And, this just in: Peter Forsberg is out as well. The Avalanche will dress seven defensemen instead because, well, they can.

Tonight TJ Hensick and David Jones will get another chance to show off their developing skill sets, since they'll have to play significant minutes filling in for the injured regulars on the team.  Poor Jones has been struggling to score goals since the post-season began, and despite some sweet puck-handling and shake-and-bake moves to get to the goal, he hasn't been able to beat Chris Osgood.  Here's hoping he pots one, even if the Avs end up losing in the end.

Jose Theodore will play, no doubt about it, and if the first three games are indicative of anything, he'll allow four goals.  And yes, I know he was sick in the first two, but four goals in each of the first three games suggests some kind of a trend, okay?  Shut up.

If the Avs lose tonight, finishing the season 0-8 against the Red Wings will be painful.  Really painful.  But, believe it or not, the Avalanche play hockey every year (minus the Lockout) and they will get plenty more chances to beat the Wings next season, and the year after that, and the year after that.  I know this is far too logical for some, but this is not the end of the world.  It's not fun, no doubt about it, but it's not the end.

It's also not the end of the season yet, so Kiszla really needs to quit it with this bullshit.  He pulled this same routine at the beginning of the playoffs and now he's pulling it again.  Will you stop already?  We'll let Joe Sakic worry about his future when he gets some time off.  As of right now, he's still on the clock, so drop it.

(And honestly, what kind of lame title is "Classiest dismissed?"  Are you serious?)

C'mon Avs, get a win tonight and avoid the season-long sweep.  1-8 doesn't seem nearly as bad as 0-8, at least not to me---but I've been sniffing glue all morning (I picked the wrong week to quit), so what do I know?

The game starts at 8:00 PM Mountain time, 10:00 PM Eastern, and will air on Versus after the Penguins eliminate the New York Rangers Olympic Diving Team.  Woo hoo.

ESPN preview.