The Avalanche are trying to nurse some injuries of key players they need going down the stretch. Three of the Avs that play key roles were on the ice this morning in Denver for Colorado’s practice. The Avalanche need to start jockeying for position right now in the West or they can forget about post season play, thus they need all of the healthy players they can get.
T.J. Galiardi, J.S. Giguere and Peter Mueller were on the ice today as the Avalanche practiced in Denver. The status of each player is doubtful for Wednesday’s game against the Kings, but having them on the ice was a good sign.
With the sporadic play of Semyon Varlamov, the Avs need Giguere to step-up and play like the once Conn Smythe goaltender he was. We all know how important goaltending is down the stretch, and I feel that Colorado has two strong goalies, but neither have shown an ounce of consistency.
It does not help the cause when Joe Sacco does not have an undisputed number one net-minder. Right now, Avs fans cannot distinguish who is the go-to goalie for the Avalanche. To make things worse, when a goalie wins a couple of games in a row he earns the number one slot, but as soon as that goalie loses a game he gets yanked.
Galiardi and Mueller play integral roles in the offense of the Avs and need to be on the ice down the stretch. With these two guys out, Colorado aches trying to scrounge up any offensive muster they can. These two provide that “complete” line feel that the team needs to have confidence in their four lines. Right now the bottom two lines seem almost “pieced” together and this only hurts the morale and chemistry of the team. When these two guys return to the lineup, Colorado should get some more consistent play across the board.
In yet another off day, the Avalanche shift their focus to the teams that need to lose in order to keep that eighth and final playoff spot in their sights. Many of the Avs will be tuned in tonight to the Coyotes/Kings game taking notes and making observations about tendencies for tomorrow’s game, as well as cheering for the Coyotes and hoping for a physically demanding game. Like I stated in a previous article, Colorado is now a spectator and out of control of their destiny. The only way to regain control is to start stringing together some wins. The best time to start this is tomorrow night against the Kings.
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