Riding a three game winning streak, the Colorado Avalanche look to make it four in a row tonight at Pepsi Center against the visiting Ducks from Anaheim. With the trade deadline now in the past, the Avalanche can focus all of their attention forward to the playoffs. That focus begins tonight with the resurgent Ducks flying into town.
The Ducks currently sit in 13th place in the West with Colorado three spots higher, in 10th. With a new coach at the helm, Anaheim is poised to make another outstanding run down the stretch to wiggle their way into the playoffs. The problem with that is that the Avs are geared to make a run of their own down the stretch, and have some solid momentum to help them.
Colorado acquired Jamie McGinn from San Jose, along with some other notable prospects, in exchange for T.J. Galiardi and Daniel Winnik. McGinn looks to make an impact at both ends of the ice and also hopes to give the Avalanche that extra leadership level due to his 22-playoff game appearances.
Colorado is riding the momentum of a three game winning streak and is coming off a rather emotional, rare win in Detroit. With the Red Wings fighting for top spot honors, Saturday night’s game was not only a 2-point victory, but also a definite confidence booster. With the Avs coming out of Joe Louis with a win, Colorado now turns their focus to a revamped Ducks team.
With all of the trade rumors now laid to rest, Colorado, and the rest of the NHL, can get back to what really matters, playing hockey. The Avalanche have a treacherous schedule ahead of them in the month of March and would love to close out February with a win. Trying to keep pace with the Kings and Stars, the two teams ahead of Colorado in the race in the West, the Avalanche look to distance themselves from the surging Ducks tonight.
Right now the Avalanche are closing in on controlling their own destiny throughout the month of March. By keeping L.A. and Dallas close at this month’s end, Colorado has put themselves in prime position to control whether or not they get into or stay out of the playoffs. Tonight is not a big game, per se, for the Avalanche, but it is one that Colorado should win. If they do that will give them 16 points in the month of February. If I recall that is 2 more points than what a certain writer said was needed for the Avs to have a shot at making the playoffs.
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