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Game 73 Preview: Kings at Avalanche

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Los Angeles Kings
7 MT / 9 ET / 2 GMT
Colorado Avalanche
42-24-5 March 24th, 2010
89 pts Pepsi Center
87 pts
5th in West
Denver, CO
7th in West



The Avalanche have gotten one point in their last three games and are 5-6-1 since the Olympic break. Most everything has been going wrong lately. The power play is back on the fritz, the penalty kill was awful last game, Craig Anderson is not playing bad but is not his usual beast of a self, Matt Duchene has hit a bit of a slump. And the defense. I think Kyle Cumiskey was the only defensemen I don't currently want to strangle. I don't think is really a must win for the Avs as far as making the playoffs, but it is an indicator of the character this team has. I am interested who will stand up and show leadership in a vitally important game like this. These are the types of games that will show us who will take over when Footer retires. The way Andy plays will also be interesting. Smyth was all over him last game, I hope he responds even if it ends with a penalty or two.

With a win, the Avs can tie Nashville and L.A. (moving ahead of Nashville and below L.A. due to games played) and get a slightly more comfortable playoff position. But L.A. is going to come like they did Monday. Ryan Smyth seems to have a thing for beating his old teams and Anze Kopitar's line seemed to dominate every time they were on the ice. But the Avs still took them to OT and they looked very beatable. The Avs just were not able to pull it together enough to win. Let's hope they do so tonight.

The Avs will be without the 'services' of Darcy Tucker tonight, who was suspended. Perhaps Marek Svatos will be in the lineup but I'd much prefer to see Stephane Yelle return. Ryan Wilson is still day to day but it's never a good idea to rush a concussion so with seven healthy (albiet shitty) defensemen, I doubt he'll be in tonight. So that leaves one other defensive scratch. My prediction is Ruslan Salei but it could also be John-Michael Liles again, or Kyle Quincey (what happend to you, Kyle? Remember when you were a BMF? Do you think, someday, maybe, you could be one again?) 

In the end, I suppose we should just be happy that we can talk about the Avs playoff chances. Around this time last year, I was wieghing the pros and cons of Taveras, Hedman and Duchene...

Jewels From The Crown 

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