||6 MT / 8 ET / 1 GMT
|40-24-6||March 21st, 2010
|86 pts||Honda Civic Center
5th in West
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):
Avalanche vs Ducks coverage