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Game 24 Preview: Atlanta Thrashers at Colorado Avalanche

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Let the Matt Hunwick era begin! The Avalanche host the Atlanta Thrashers tonight and, I presume, the newest addition to the club will be in the lineup wearing Kyle Cumiskey's old #48. Also expected to be in the lineup tonight: Dan Winnik. Not so fortunate? Chris Stewart, out 4-6 weeks with a fractured hand. Adam Foote did practice a little on Monday, but is doubtful. Craig Anderson could be back this weekend, but will not play tonight.

Tonight's matchup shapes up to be a high scoring affair, as it features two of the top offenses in the league...and two of the not-so-top defenses. The Thrashers are off to a great start this year, led by Blackhawk castoffs Dustin Byfuglien and Andrew Ladd. Nic Bergfors currently has 16 points (six more than Ilya Kovalchuk) as does Chris Stewart's older brother Anthony. Add in Evander Kane and some other names I don't feel like typing and you've got a fairly high octane offense. Not surprisingly, the Thrashers have a potent powerplay - the 3rd opponent in the last 4 games ranked high in the league in that category.

We all know the Avalanche can score, but the offense will really be put to the test with the absence of Chris Stewart. Injuries are certainly nothing new to this team, but Stewart's injury is a big one. The silver lining here is that it should give Greg Mauldin some quality ice time. I really like this kid. I would love to see him excel during Stewie's little vacation.

Thrashers vs Avalanche coverage

Bird Watchers Anonymous

 

Colorado Atlanta
10th (t) 27 Points  10th (t) 27
1st 3.52 GF/G  5th 3.17
26th 3.09 GA/G  21st 2.92
6th 22.9 PP%  3rd 24.7
26th 78.3 PK%  24th 79.8
13th 31.3 S/G 16th 31.1
16th 30.5 SA/G 29th 35.1
19th 49.3 FO%  17th 19.7
21st 15 PIM/G  6th 10.9
Hejduk 26 pts Top Scorer Byfuglien 24 pts