Minnesota Wild vs. Colorado Avalanche (Series Tied 2-2)
Back At Home
Home teams are 2-0 in this series, which is good news if you’re an Avalanche fan looking for a positive heading into game five. Otherwise, after the way the team played in Minnesota, there aren’t too many positives to find. You know Patrick Roy will use the last change to his advantage, but it’s up to the team to respond and play better. I’m sure the Pepsi Center will bring the energy and the team needs to feed off that and get into gear early.
Obviously lineup changes could be coming, but I’m also talking about line changes. Roy tried a bunch of different combinations on Thursday night, none of which worked. At home, one would expected that Roy sticks with the Nathan MacKinnon-Paul Stastny-Gabriel Landeskog line, but it’s also possible that he tries to spark things by moving MacKinnon back to center or moving Joey Hishon up. P.A. Parenteau hasn’t been good in this series and a demotion could be very likely.
As far as lineup changes are concerned, I still believe that Stefan Elliott should be inserted in place of Ryan Wilson or Nate Guenin. The Avs need some kind of spark right now and it’d be nice if it came from the defense, which was great all season at scoring goals. Elliott is much more likely to provide that spark than Wilson or Guenin.
Decline All Penalties
Either the Avs power play needs to get going or, if it’s possible, the Avs needs to decline all penalties. I know the team misses Matt Duchene on the power play and Tyson Barrie was also a key competent, but this team still has way too much talent to not have a single non-empty net power play goal. The Avs are the only team in the playoffs without a non-empty net power play goal, that’s pretty bad when you finished the regular season ranked 5th on the PP.
Nothing new on the injury front. John Mitchell, Cory Sarich, Tyson Barrie, and Matt Duchene are all out. There’s been nothing new on Mitchell or Sarich and we know Barrie it out for this series and beyond, but there is some very encouraging news on Duchene. Although he won’t play in game five, all signs seem to indicate that he could suit up for game six.