Eleven days ago the Colorado Avalanche were mere seconds away from defeating the defending Western Conference Champions. Due to the relentless play of Kevin Bieksa, the Avs came out on the losing the side of the contest. Tonight Colorado hopes to return the favor as they stroll into Vancouver with sounds of positive news still resonating in their ears.
Yes by now most have heard that Matt Duchene is skating around with the Avs while looking like a big-game hunter in is “non-contact” orange sweater. Duchene is even going to make the trek across Canada with the Avalanche. But fans should not get their hopes up too high, at least for tonight that is. Duchene will not be in the lineup tonight in Vancouver, but head coach Joe Sacco has not concretely answered the lineup questions about if we will see Duchene in the lineup against Edmonton and Winnipeg.
Even without Duchene on the ice tonight, the Avs have a renewed, upbeat attitude going into the game tonight. Just knowing that Duchene is going to be back in the lineup soon, seemed to have put a jolt into the Avalanche. At the final skate before heading to Vancouver, guys looked focused and ready for battle.
Tonight is a massive game for Colorado both mentally and physically. Any team knows that when they face the Canucks it is going to be a physical game. But on the mental side, Colorado had the game won eleven days ago and somehow let the victory slip through their gloves. Plus, anytime a team has the chance to knock off the defending Conference Champions, it gives them that mental boost of confidence.
So tonight’s game should be entertaining to say the least. If it is anything like the game eleven days ago this has the chance to be the game of the week. A win tonight boosts not only Colorado’s playoff chances, but also their confidence on this long road trip. With Duchene in attendance tonight expect to see an upbeat, focused Avalanche team that will do anything to ensure a victory.
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