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Game 37 Preview: Blue Jackets at Avalanche


Vs_medium Matchavalanche_medium
Columbus Blue Jackets
7 MT / 9 ET / 2 GMT
Colorado Avalanche
14-14-7 December 19th, 2009
35 pts Pepsi Center
44 pts
12th in West
Denver, CO
7th in West


If you have a riff with people wanna bust,
Break out before you get bumrushed at the (Wild Wild West)
When I roll into the (Wild Wild West)
When I stroll into the (Wild Wild West)
When I bounce into the (Wild Wild West)

Will Smith, Wild Wild West

Welcome to the wild, wild west where the Avalanche have slipped from 2nd to 7th in the span of just 6 days. That's the kind of crazy stuff that happens in a division where 1st and last are separated by just 14 poits. A win tonight could move them back in 3rd (and atop the NW division). Then again, they could also win and stay right where they are. Losing is not really an option, as the Red Wings and Canucks are just 3 and 4 points behind the Avs going into tonight's games.

The Blue Jackets are a struggling team right now, with a dismal 2-8-5 record in the past 15 games (one of those 8 losses is to the Avs). Steve Mason will get the call for the BJs. Derek Dorsett and Rotislav Klesla are on IR (if I recall correctly, both players missed the previous Avalanche - Blue Jacket matchup.

The Avalanche laid an egg on Wednesday, a game notable mostly for David Koci's non-suspension-worthy boarding penalty on Mike Green and John-Michael Liles' 3rd period benching. Hopefully, the Avalanche will get a boost from the return of Milan Hejduk, who has missed the last two games with a lingering knee injury. I hope the rest has done him some good, as he hasn't looked all that sharp lately and has just 1 point (a goal) and just 8 shots in his last 6 games. Marek Svatos will not play (according to Dater) and Brandon Yip is expected to make his NHL debut (he'll be wearing #59). Craig Anderson will get the start. No shock there; Peter Budaj has gotten just two starts while Anderson has been healthy.

Today in Colorado Avalanche History: December 19th, 2007. Cody McLeod makes his NHL debut against the Anaheim Ducks. He was here to stay - he's missed just 9 regular season games since his debut (all due to injury, I believe).


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