The Colorado Avalanche are sizzling hot: they've now won one in a row.
Tonight they play Dallas for the second time in four nights as they try to continue this incredible run. They may have to rely on all-stars Mark Olver and Chuck Kobasew once again - in their 4-3 win over the Stars on Wednesday, Olver recorded a healthy three points while Kobasew notched the game-winner. The two saw increased ice time thanks to the decision to bench "top six" forwards David Jones and Jamie McGinn.
But honestly, the Avs have been nothing short of dreadful lately. They are tied with Florida, Phoenix and Nashville for a 3-6-1 record in their last 10. Head coach Joe Sacco juggles his lines with the same level of desperation as Gordon Bombay when he first met the Mighty Ducks. The defense is a mess - I take shits more inspiring than them.
Thankfully, captain Gabe Landeskog has found his feet again. He has scored a goal in four consecutive games, including two games in a row with a shorty. Ryan O'Reilly is also getting into the swing of things, with four points in each of his past four games. Both may have to continue their streaks if Colorado hopes to take the season series against a hungry Dallas team only two points out of a playoff spot.
Dallas just came off a somewhat dominating 2-0 win over the Kings. The underrated Kari Lehtonen bailed out his bipolar defense with an impressive 40 saves. Goals came from grizzled vets Jaromir Jagr and Ray Whitney. Here's my take on the Stars going forward.
Injuries/Scratches: Avs defenseman Ryan Wilson (ankle), Stars defenseman Aaron Rome (foot), and Stars forward Ryan Garbutt (hand) are all day-to-day.
We have this from Mike Chambers of the Denver Post:
Avs coach Joe Sacco said veteran right-winger Milan Hejduk won't play at Dallas. He will be replaced by either David Jones or Jamie McGinn, who were healthy scratches for the first time this season on Wednesday. One of them won't play again.
Sacco said Semyon Varlamov will start in goal.
Good decision to rest Hejduk on the first night of a back-to-back. For Dallas coverage, check out Defending Big D.
Puck drops 6:00pm MT on Altitude (8:00pm ET)
Unrelated, but who here saw last night's World Cup qualifying match (USA vs Costa Rica) in Colorado? Holy snow.