Game preview from Hockey Wilderness. Make sure you check out the game thread for full lineups and the Five Questions of the Game.
Ten out of 16. That is the number of the day. Win ten out of sixteen, just for a chance to make the playoffs. Two five game winning streaks with a loss in between? Four three game winning streaks? It is certainly still possible, but it needs to start now, not in a week.
Guillaume Latendresse was mentioned by coach Todd Richards as “possibly” playing tonight. The guess would be if he plays it will be limited minutes in a fourth line role. Maybe for Peters? Form the sound bites yesterday it sounded remote. Today, it sounds like a real possibility.
Clayton Stoner is a game time decision, and if he can’t go, we get Kobe back.
Looking at the enemy for the night, the Avalanche are in a death spiral. One of the leaders in the division for most of the year, the light switched off, they went into a tail spin, and it is all over. The Peter Forsberg experiment was a bust, they traded their starting goalie for a chump, gave up Chris Stewart and Kevin Shattenkirk for Erik Johnson, and wrote the season off.
Now challenging the Oilers for the worst team in the West, the Avs are not a happy organization. They have little left to lose, so they will also be a dangerous opponent. When you have nothing left, nothing is stopping you from playing your heart out every shift. Full bore beginning to end. That has to be the expectation coming in tonight.
If the Wild come out soft like the past three or four games, the Avs will capitalize, and the Wild will be playing from behind. Again. The Wild need wins, and they need some confidence. A big win, from start to finish, some domination. To look like a playoff team.