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Game 35 Preview: Avalanche at Red Wings

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Justin Edmonds

It figures. Between a hectic real life and general apathy towards the Avalanche lately, I've missed more than a few recent games. And, sure enough, I wasn't around on Saturday to see Tyson Barrie become the first Avalanche rookie defenseman to score an OT goal. I missed what sounds like a terrific game from Semyon Varlamov and, if I read Cole's recap correctly, Greg Zanon? I similarly missed much of the win against Dallas on March 20th and the shootout victory over San Jose, so the last time I personally have watched the Avalanche get a win was nearly a month ago, when the Avalanche knocked the Blackhawks off of their perch way back on March 8th. So I am ITCHING to see an Avalanche win and what better opponent than the soon-to-be-Eastern-Conference Detroit Red Wings. Can we make it so, please?

Milan Hejduk left Saturday's game with a shoulder injury (damn, rough year, Milan) and did not make the trip with the team. With Paul Stastny out as well, David Jones is the lynch pin. If he can't play, the Avs will need to either make a roster move or dress seven D (PLEASE don't choose option B, Skipper Joe).

For the Wings, Mikael Samuelsson and Johan Franzen (oh joy) returned to the lineup on Sunday's 7-1 "effort" against Chicago. On the flip side, captain Henrik Zetterberg is injured and missed Sunday's game and may miss Monday's as well.

Yeah, it's probably kind of senseless to preview this game like it matters, but you know, the Avalanche are still in this thing. It may be improbable, but a 5- or 6- game run right now could put the Avs right back into the thick of it. Remember, with 19 games to go in 2007 the Avalanche were 12 out and ended up going on a huge (and unexpected) run and ended up just one point short. With 13 to go in this campaign, it would take a hell of a run...but you never know. And no, this paragraph is not an April Fool's joke. I still believe this team is quite a bit better than their record.

Lord Jimmy is the confirmed starter per LeftWingLock, and I think you can probably bank on seeing Varlamov at the other end.