clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Game 80 Preview: Avalanche @ Predators

New, comments

With the playoffs all but gone, the Avalanche (39-36-4) head on their final road trip of the season, starting in Nashville against the Predators (39-26-14).

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The door was open for the Avalanche. The Avs needed help from the Wild's opponents in order to make it into the playoffs and they got it the last three games. However, the Avs also needed to gain points in their own games in order to make that happen. In three games against the Blues and Capitals, the Avs gained no points. Yes, the opponents were difficult (those two teams may very well play for the cup this June), but when the team you're chasing a team that's losing games and leaves the power to pass them in your hands, you need to take advantage. Instead, the Avs have seemed like a team content with just playing hockey, rather than a team trying to win and make the playoffs. Yes, there have been some spurts and flashes of competitive drive from some players, but all in all, the results have not been there. The Avs competitive problems reached a culmination Sunday when they got blown out at home against the St. Louis Blues.

While down 4-0 late in the third, Matt Duchene scored his 30th goal of the season. It was a milestone mark for the 25-year old centerman, and he wanted to celebrate it. The celebration was a little much for his coach, however, as Patrick Roy made a point of noting it in his post game presser. Roy has remained very positive with his team all season, but given the results in recent games, Roy's nastier side has come out, and it seems to be triggering the waves of change to the Avs' core this summer. It's hard to say who will take the hit, but it may be safe to say that with just two playoff appearances in the last eight years, it may be time for some changes in Denver.

On the other side of the puck Tuesday, the Nashville Predators have surprised some people by locking down the first wildcard seed in the West. At 92 points, the Predators have nowhere to move in the standings and will likely travel their way through the Pacific Division playoff bracket in a week. With three games left and nothing to play for, expect the Predators to lower the minutes of their star players.

LINES

Grigorenko-Duchene-Boedker

Landeskog-Soderberg-Comeau

Matthias-Mitchell-Iginla

McLeod-Agozzino-Martinsen

Beauchemin-Johnson

Holden-Barrie

Bigras-Redmond

Varlamov

Pickard

Scratches: Bodnarchuk, Skille

NOTES

- By scoring his 30th goal of the season on Sunday, Duchene became the first Avalanche to do so since Joe Sakic and Milan Hejduk hit the mark back in 2006-07.

- The Avs have allowed at least three goals in their last six games.

- The Predators have lost their last four games.

GAME INFO

Game time: 6pm MT

TV: ALT