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Game 12 Preview: Avalanche at Oilers

Colorado Avalanche
7:30 MT / 9:30 ET
Edmonton Oilers
8-1-2 October 27, 2009 6-4-1
18 pts
Rexall Place
13 pts
Numero Uno
Edmonton, AB
7th in West


Hey, look! Another road trip!

A couple of weeks ago, that thought would have been a bit depressing, but these are the Avalanche 2.0. The Avalanche have one of the better road records in the league (4-1-2) and they'll play against the team with one of the better home records so far (5-1-1). That's interesting, but I think the more compelling story is that these are two of the more surprising teams in the Western Conference so far this year. Both teams have apparently responded to new coaches and new #1 goaltenders. I'm looking forward to the game, even if the Oilers play in a backwards rink that always confuses me.

The Avalanche, of course, are a wee bit banged up. Ha ha, that's a new one! So far, though, they haven't missed a beat and guys like Ryan Wilson and Chris Stewart have stepped into - or, in the case of Stewart back into - the lineup nicely. Peter Budaj (flu) did not make the trip to Edmonton. Craig Anderson is the confirmed starter; could Tyler Weiman start in Calgary on Wednesday? It looks like Joe Sacco is shuffling the lines again. Jones appears to be playing with O'Reilly and Stewart (dig), Galiardi is playing with Duchene and Svatos (dig) which, presumably, has Wolski back with Stastny and Hejduk (also dig).

The Oilers are led by Dustin Penner, a guy who is single-handedly keeping my fantasy team above water. Hopefully, though, he'll ease up on the torrid scoring pace (15 points in 11 games) this evening. I'm figuring Nikolai Khabibulin, who has been quite good despite his so-so stats, will get the start for the Oil. Check Left Wing Lock during the day for goalie updates.

ADDENDUM: Great quote from the game preview at ESPN:

"Everyone was saying we wouldn't do much this year, but everyone in here knew what we had," Galiardi said. "It's pretty special right now and we want to keep it going."


Avalanche vs Oilers coverage

The Copper & Blue

Oilers Lines (via HockeyCentric)

Game Notes