Being realistic, The Avs will be watching the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs the way Danny Briere watched much of this season: in jeans, eating nachos, on a couch. What does that mean for tonight’s game against Calgary? It means they can start talking about their trip to Vegas! It means you the fan don’t have tons of Avalanche hockey to watch this season. Come August when you've youtubed the Avs’ first draft pick to death, reread the same sentence in thirty different articles, and been to enough Rockies games to know it’s about the beer and not the baseball, you’ll yearn for a Duchene burst of speed or a Landeskog bum rush. Hell, even a Cody McLeod fight would be nice when training camp is still over a month away.
Beyond that Calgary is entrenched in the hunt for a Pacific Division playoff spot. Battling essentially for home ice against Vancouver (80 pts) and for the final spot with Los Angeles (79), The Flames (81 pts) are closing in on their first birth since 2008-2009. Calgary is fresh off of a 6-3 win against Toronto in The Saddledome last night, which plays into the Avs favor.
Calgary has certainly missed Norris Trophy candidate Mike Giordano, the defenseman was announced to have torn bicep tendons on Trade Deadline Day. Without him, TJ Brodie has fallen off, now on the second pairing with Deryk Engelland. Old friend David Jones missed a game after blocking a shot, but it appears he will be back on the fourth line tonight. He is quietly having a quiet season. It’s the damnedest thing, when he isn’t being centered by Sakic, he isn’t a very good winger.
The Avs should be rested as they had a night off after a home win against The New Jersey Devils Thursday. Iginla scored and Varly turned in a brilliant performance in the shootout victory. Not a bad showing by the club by any stretch.
Here are Calgary’s lines from earlier this week. Good luck guessing Roy’s lines at this point.
Jonny Hockey - Sean Monahan - Jiri Hudler
Lance Bouma - Mikael Backlund - Joe Colbourne
Mason Raymond - Josh Jooris - Drew Shore
Brandon Bollig - Matt Stajan - David Jones
Kris Russell - Dennis Wideman
TJ Brodie – Deryk Engelland
David Schlemko – Rafa Diaz
Go Avs Go!!