The Colorado Avalanche need a win tonight against Pittsburgh. These three players having big nights can help secure that win.
Well this season, for the Avs, it’s all about their depth. In that they finally have some. The top line cannot drag the team into the playoffs no matter how talented they are.
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We’re not expected to see a clash of the titans tonight anyway because MacKinnon’s mentor, Sidney Crosby, is unlikely to play. Anyway, we’d like to see some secondary scoring anyway.
Here are three players I think need to have a big game against Pittsburgh to get the Avalanche trending back in the right direction –up.
Winger Andre Burakovsky was looking to be the poser child fro the Colorado Avalanche’s preference for reclamation projects. He’s been on his way to a career season, already recording27 points (13 goals, 14 assists) in just 41 games — he had only 12 goals in 76 games last season.
The party line was that Burakovsky wasn’t going to get a chance on a super-talented Capitals team — he needed to play with some better linemates than he was getting on the third line. Well, he’s bounced across all four lines this season, but has landed on the second line again (at least according to yesterday’s practice).
Yet Burakovsky hasn’t had a goal in 10 games and only 3 points in that span. We’d like him to improve on that tonight.
Fellow winger Valeri Nichushkin is in the same boat. He went a startling 91 games — across four years — without scoring a goal before finally unleashing the floodwaters.
Well, not exactly floodwaters. He has seven goals on the season and a total of 16 points total. He also hasn’t scored in six games, which isn’t so long unless you remember that other stretch and look at the fact that he’s getting second line minutes and power play time.
Time to make us not feel nervous about his big goal droughts.
Rookie defenseman Cale Makar is not in the same boat. He’s second on the team for scoring and making a good run at earning the Calder Trophy for Rookie of the Year.
However, our prize rookie hasn’t looked quite himself since that rat, Brad Marchand, leveled him with a hard hit. I don’t know that Makar is playing with soreness. However, he does have only one goal and three assists in the seven games since returning from the injury, while he’d been scoring at a point-a-game pace before then.
I’d like to see him get his mojo back. Plus, today is the last day you can vote him to the All Star team as Last Men In.
How to Enjoy the Game
Game Time: Jan. 10, 7:00 pm MT
TV: ESPN+, SN, TVAS, ALT, ATTSN-PT
Radio: Altitude Radio (FM 92.5/AM 950)
Tonight marks the second and final meeting between the two teams. The Colorado Avalanche lost in Pittsburgh in overtime in October.
The Avs also need this win tonight. After beating the Anaheim Ducks, the Dallas Stars have taken a firm hold of the second Central Division seed.