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Game 40: Avalanche At Predators, Preview And Open Thread

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Matchavalanche_medium
Vs_medium
Matchpredators_medium
Colorado Avalanche
8:00 pm ET / 6:00 pm MT
Nashville Predators
19-19-1 January 6, 2009 17-18-3
39 points
Sommet Center
37 Points
12th in West
Nashville, TN
14th in West

Well, here we are again. Just four games after playing the Predators (and winning 5-1), all the energy and spark that was still driving the Avs early last week is now long gone. They're once again putting in 20 minute efforts in 60 minute games. The Avs have lost their last three, having been outscored 11-2 in that span.

Who's to blame? Peter Budaj, of course. Who else but the goalie could you possibly blame when a team scores just two goals in three games? It has to be the goalie's fault because it's always the goalie's fault. Until Patrick Roy puts on the Burgundy and Blue and once again takes the ice at the Pepsi Center, to many Avs fans it will forever, no matter what, be the fault of the goalie.

For the rest of us, we know that a team once again depleted by injury, crippled by bad coaching and front office management, lacking in heart and spirit, can't possibly be good on a regular basis. It doesn't matter who's in goal. The team is junk from top to bottom right now. The fact that they're still at .500 (at least in record if not in that fascinating "points earned, points ceded" stat) is amazing to me. This team could just as easily be 10-28-1 as 19-19-1.

When your offense is led by Tyler Arnason and Darcy Tucker, and the goalie many fans want to take over as starter is Andrew Freaking Raycroft, you know you're in bad shape. Real bad shape.

That said, it's hockey and any team can beat any other team any night of the week. Well, except for Boston and San Jose, who actually can't be beaten. But everybody else is fair game. So the Avs could win tonight. I'm not even going to try and predict it.

Pekka Rinne will once again face the Avs for the Predators. The only thing I really care about in this game is how Colorado is going to convince Nashville to trade Shea Weber for Raycroft, Arnason and Tucker.

ESPN preview.


GP MIN W L T EGA GA GAA SA SV SV% SO
2008 - Andrew Raycroft 8 427 6 1 0 0 21 2.95 184 163 .886 0


GP MIN W L T EGA GA GAA SA SV SV% SO
2008 - Pekka Rinne 14 726 7 4 0 2 30 2.48 339 309 .912 3