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Game 56 Preview: Colorado Avalanche at Nashville Predators

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Start throwing the cliches out there, folks. It's a must win. It's time to dig deep to stop the slide. The top guys need make it happen. The wheels are falling off. If they don't win tonight, it's TiFwhoever time.

I'd prefer to focus on a different cliche: the curse of the ex-player. Former Avalanche players have a tendency, as we all know, to thrive against their old team. Hat tricks, shut outs, game-winning-assists that keep the team out of the playoffs for the very first time ever in history. But tonight...tonight the skate is on the other foot, and that foot didn't fall off last night like the Downer Debbies predicted. The stage is set for Peter Forsberg to return to Bridgestone Arena for the first time since he last donned the saber-toothed sweater and to kick a little ass. Of course, it would be nice if the rest of the team showed up, too, but hey. Why get greedy?

Nashville has had the Avs' number of late, and the 5-1 loss earlier this year at the Pepsi Center is indicative of that. They last played on Wednesday, so, unlike the Avs who are coming off the first game of a back-to-back set, they're well-rested. The big news with them, however, is the new acquisition of Mr. Underwood. Carrie's hubby makes his Predators' debut tonight and is a huge part in the playoff picture for Nashville. I think it's fair to say that holding him off the scoreboard would be key.

The Preds will be without the help of Cal O'Reilly as he's still out with a broken leg. Not sure the brother-v-brother contest would have happened anyway as Ryan was a healthy scratch last night after two sub-par performances following his return from injury. It's a good thing that none of the other Avs' players who just came back from being hurt were given any leeway with their play for, oh, about a week or two because otherwise we might start thinking Sacco has favorites and stuff. Another guy out for Nashville is Marek Svatos; though I'd never wish anyone ill and I'd really like to see him play, I'm going to give myself permission to do a little fist pump on that. We need that damn curse to go in our favor for once.

 

 Colorado

 Nashville
 24th  56  Points  12th  65 
 6th  2.98  GF/G  26th  2.53 
 30th  3.29  GA/G  4th  2.31 
 9th  19.2  PP%  25th  14.7 
 27th  78.1  PK%  3rd  86.0 
 18th  30.3  S/G  25th  28.7 
 20th  31.0  SA/G  16th  30.2 
 22nd  49.7  FO%  14th  50.4 
 17th  12.6  PIM/G  3rd  9.0 
 Duchene  46 pts Top Scorer  Weber  34 pts