Friday, April 2, 2010

Game of the Year

Only 2 points separate the Avs and the Flames for the 8th and final playoff spot in the West so it's not too out of reach to say that this is the biggest game of the year for the Avs. The Avs have a game in hand and the tiebreaker over Calgary, however, it is my opinion (and many people in the media feel the same way) that the winner of this game will end up finishing with that last playoff spot.

Lately the Avs just seem like the team that was supposed to finish at the bottom of the league. Since the last game against Calgary on March 17 (a 3-2 loss), the Avs have gone just 1-4-1 and have been outscored in that stretch 27-16. Nothing has been going their way in that stretch. The PK has been terrible. The defense has been non existent. Shooters are missing the net all together. And the most important of all, Anderson has not been giving us the goaltending we need.

It's really showing that Andy has played in too many games this season and is just mentally exhausted. Sacco should've given Budaj more chances throughout the season so this could be avoided but cant go back in time now so Sacco and the boys can all look ahead to tonight's game.

Anderson will get the start again for the Avs and he will most likely be squaring off against Miika Kiprusoff. The Avs have beat the Flames all 4 times they have started Kiprusoff so that is something to be excited about. Last game the Flames went with backup Vesa Toskala who led Calgary to victory. All 5 games so far have ended in 3-2 scores so we should expect another close one tonight.

Some good news for the Avs is that they will be getting Stephane Yelle and Brandon Yip back. Yelle will provide a huge boost for the PK that has been so awful lately and Yip's energy and offense will provide a spark up front. David Koci has also been cleared to play and he's expected to be in the lineup as well. More good news on the injury front is that David Jones is expected to take part in full practices next week so, should we make the playoffs, he would be available then.

Sacco has also started answering Avs fans prayers on who he's playing on defense tonight. Kyle Quincey and John Michael Liles will both be in while Ruslan Salei and Brett Clark will be the odd men out (thank god).

The Flames come in winning 4 of their last 7. Neither team has an easy schedule down the stretch either so that also adds to the importance of the 2 points tonight.

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