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Game 71 Preview: Avalanche at Ducks

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Matchavalanche_medium
Vs_medium  Matchducks_medium
Colorado Avalanche
6 MT / 8 ET / 1 GMT
Anaheim Ducks
40-24-6 March 21st, 2010
33-29-8
86 pts Honda Civic Center
74 pts
5th in West
Anaheim, CA 11th in West

 

As with a lot of these previews, I prepared this last night. Normally I have a chance to update them in the morning, but due to other plans I won't be able to do that today. So, the numbers above and below don't reflect any games on Saturday, most notably Columbus at Nashville, Los Angeles at the Islanders and Detroit at Vancouver. Although it says "5th" above, the Avalanche could be anywhere from 5th to 7th this morning.

Regardless of what happened last night, the Avalanche will still be playing for 5th place tonight, but they will need St Louis to beat Nashville this evening to help their cause. At least I think that's how this all shakes out; keeping track of all the different parameters is a tad overwhelming.

As for the game at hand, the Avalanche visit the Ducks tonight in the first of yet another set of these exhausting back-to-backs (still two more to go after this one). Each team has a regulation win in the series this year and each team has overcome a 2-goal deficit to do so. The Ducks scored 4 3rd period goals on December 22nd to win 4-2 in Colorado and the Avs scored 4 goals in a 20-minutes span on March 3rd to win 4-2 in Anaheim.

The Avalanche should have Ruslan Salei and Cody McLeod healthy for the game. I hope I don't come across as too unkind when I say that neither player could be described as "indispensable" this year, so I'm not sure how much of a boon this will be for the team. Meanwhile, two players who have had more of an impact - Stephane Yelle and Ryan Wilson - aren't expected to play (at least as of this writing). Olde Yeller (bruised knee) isn't making the trip to California while "Mitch" is day-to-day with a mild concussion suffered in that fight with Jamal Mayers on Wednesday. Meanwhile, Brandon Yip, David Jones and David Koci all skated on Friday, although there is no timetable for the return of any of the three. And Ryan Stoa has been returned to Lake Erie. Again.

Mike has the recap tonight, so, please, do not feed the trolls. Magic numbers (again, these don't take Saturday's games into account):

 

Rank Team GP W L OT PTS GR MaxPts Avs Magic#
1 Chicago 70 45 19 6 96 12 120 34
2 San Jose 71 43 18 10 96 11 118 32
3 Vancouver 71 44 24 3 91 11 113 27
4 Phoenix 71 44 22 5 93 11 115 29
5 Colorado 70 40 24 6 86 12 110
6 Los Angeles 69 40 24 5 85 13 111 25
7 Nashville 71 40 26 5 85 11 107 21
8 Detroit 70 34 23 13 81 12 105 19
9 Calgary 71 36 26 9 81 11 103 17
10 St. Louis 70 33 28 9 75 12 99 13
11 Anaheim 70 33 29 8 74 12 98 12
12 Minnesota 71 34 31 6 74 11 96 10
13 Dallas 70 30 27 13 73 12 97 11
14 Columbus 71 29 31 11 69 11 91 5
15 Edmonton 71 22 42 7 51 11 73

 

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