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Game 34 Preview: Lightning at Avalanche



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Tampa Bay Lightning
7 MT / 9 ET / 1 GMT
Colorado Avalanche
11-11-8 December 11th, 2009
30 pts Pepsi Center
40 pts
11th in East
Denver, CO
5th in West


So, what'd I miss? As you know, I was given Wednesday night off by a bunch of slimy corporate choads. I can only assume that the Avalanche played hard on Tuesday and...whoa? Shutout by the Wild? Fifth place? Dullest game in the history of hockey? Yowsers, maybe I should be thanking the clowns at Versus and DirecTV.

Let's just pretend that Wednesday didn't happen, and say that the Avs' big December homestand starts tonight. With that in mind, the Avalanche return to the friendly confines of the Pepsi Center (population 11, 435 on Wednesday) to host the Tampa Bay Lightning. These teams played each other on November 30th with the Avalanche winning 3-0. This time, that crazy wild Lightning team may be without both Ryan Malone and Steve Stamkos, both of whom are day-to-day after getting knocked out of Wednesday game.

Meanwhile, the Avalanche are expected to get Craig Anderson back from a neck injury suffered in Florida. Anderson hasn't finished a game since...November 30th against the Lightning. Peter Budaj has been better-than-solid in Anderson's place (1.26 GAA, .956 Sv%), but that doesn't mean the Avalanche won't get a morale boost from the return of Anderson. Hey, maybe they'll be able to muster themselves to a level above listless tonight in his honor.

Lightning vs Avalanche coverage

Raw Charge


Where Is Taylor Arnason Today:

And what has Ryan Malone and Matt Hendrick's former St Cloud State teammate been up to recently? Trailor's Dinamo are currently on an extended home stand, so Tayler is no doubt spending much of his free time in their home city of Riga, Latvia. Tonight (well, today, given the different time zone), the Dinamo will host the Lada of Togliatti. On Sunday, the Dinamo of Riga host...the Dinamo of Minsk (I guess Dinamo is Russian for "Roughriders"). The club then has a 9-day break before traveling to Belarus to take on Minsk again to, once and for all, decide a victor in the Battle Of The Dinamo.

Still not much in the way of photos of Arnason in action (chance of that sentence quoted: about 95%), but we do have a nice description of his first two KHL goals:

Tyler Arnason had his first goal in Dinamo Riga colours in the third minute, taking the goal behind the net before reemerging to the goalie’s right catching him unaware.

Coach Julius Suplers was rewarded again soon after for giving Arnason more time on the ice when he had his second. In what has become one of his signature plays, Arnason moved the puck up the right before flicking it into the center in the hope of finding a Dinamo Riga stick. On this occasion he could not find the stick of Mike Iggulden but rather that of a Spartak defender who claimed the unenviable achievement of deflecting the puck into the back of his own net.