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Game 16 Preview: Avalanche at Flyers

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The newly revamped Avs D faces off against a potent Philadelphia offense at The Wells Fargo Center in Phil PA.

Awwww, ain't they cute??
Awwww, ain't they cute??
Doug Pensinger

Well guys, I guess the Avs new D has debuted;  I didn't get to see any of the last game, but since we won and didn't give up 48 shots on net, I guess it went ok.  I'm excited to see if that trend can continue as we go visit the Flyers on their turf at the beginning of this icky road trip.  This is the first of 4 road games coming up; the Avs won't see the Pepsi Center ice until November 20th.

Philadelphia is actually pretty close to us in terms of points this year:  we are only one point behind them, but they have a couple of games in hand on us.  The real story is their offense, which is 4th in the league averaging 3.15 goals per game.  Jakub Voracek is currently tied with Sid the Kid for top scorer in the league with 19 points, nearly as many as Duchene and MacKinnon put together.  That kind of point production is benefiting his linemate Claude Giroux, who is sitting with a very respectable 15 points in 13 games.  According to NHL.com, they Flyers are going to give Wayne Simmonds a shot at LWing that hefty top line; Simmonds' 9 points is no joke either.  Erik Johnson and Jan Hejda had better be sharp.

On top of that sweet top line, the Flyers have been on a bit of a roll.  They started out pretty poorly this season, going 1 for 6, until they started turning on the jets.  They have now won 5 of their last 7, and made good games out of the two losses.  You know, a turn around like some other teams desperately need.  Maybe even the Avs.   For more info on that (yearned for) turn around and the long road trip, be sure to check out RyanL11's article on that very subject published yesterday.

We totally need a win tonight, guys.  We need to stop the bleeding and remind everyone who we are.  Watching the highlights of Duchene, Johnson, and MacKinnon... and really everyone... I do feel like we are close.  Iggy seems to be finding his groove with us, Tanguay is starting to really get back into his stride, and it seems like we can trust our backup goaltender to be solid.  There are so many good points here, guys.  It just needs to come together.  Please, something bring this together so I can start being excited, and counting down the hours until ice time again.

Lines:

McGinn, Duchene, O'Reilly

Landeskog, MacKinnon, Iginla

Tanguay, Mitchell, Everberg

McLeod, Cliche, Talbot

Johnson / Hejda

Barrie / Guenin

Holden / Redmond

Berra will be in net again

Game Notes:

- Say what you will about the loser point, but I kinda like it right now.  Without that, we wouldn't even be sniffing contention.

- The Avs are still hovering in second place with a stellar PK right behind Chicago;  That being said, our road penalty kill is  4 percentage points worse than our home PK.  With this road trip, I would love to see that percentage come up a bit.

- After checking out the scoring for Philly, I gotta say that I love that the Avs have so many guys so close in scoring.  While Dutchie and MacK are tied for that top spot with 10 points, we have 5 other guys with more than 8 points, too.  It reminds me of what Wu Tang Financial says (NSFW Language); but its sure nice knowing that we have a bunch of dudes ready to contribute offensively.

- FYI, Gabe Landeskog is NOT one of the aforementioned offensive contributors.  Dude has 6 points on the season, and 20 penalty minutes.  He is 3rd on the team with shots, but they are going in at a rate of 9.8%.  I don't think that's too bad, really, but I'd like to see him leading by example a bit more.  Just keep him on that line with Iginla, and it'll all be ok.

- Dude, Tangs is shooting at 21.7%. Somehow I doubt he'll be able to keep that up, but damn.  Keep going, dude.

Game Time:

5:00pm MDT, 7:00pm EDT

Saturday November 8, 2014

Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia PA

CSN-PH, Altitude