The Colorado Avalanche need a bounceback win after their loss in Philadelphia. Here are some keys to the game.
The Colorado Avalanche are getting ready to play their second game of a five-game road trip tonight in Buffalo. So far they’re 0-1 on the roadie.
They need a bounceback win. Sure, they’re still in a good playoff position. However, that won’t last forever if they keep playing inconsistently. They also want to not still be in a slump.
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The Avalanche had a couple days in Philadelphia to practice before heading to Buffalo yesterday afternoon. Before their flight, they focused on special teams. I wrote a whole article about that issue, so let’s just hope they worked on more than different line combinations.
Knowing the coaching staff, I doubt it.
Ok, happy thoughts. New day, new game, new chance to show they’re a dominant team.
The Buffalo Sabres last played on February 1, a 2-1 overtime victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. They’re currently 11 points out of a playoff spot. Colorado has gone 2-2 at the KeyBank Center in the last four seasons.
Shake the Residual Rust Off
The Colorado Avalanche had 11 days with no games, with two of those dedicated to practices. I can’t blame the loss in Philly on rust exactly, but it could have been a contributing factor.
Matt Calvert talked a little about the upcoming schedule — it gets crazy in February — and that rust factor:
"“[Nathan MacKinnon] was just saying you got to get back to the lab and that is something we got to do the last few days here and try to get that rust off. We are excited for the next opportunity, and we need to get back in a winning trend here.”"
Whether rust was a factor against the Flyers or not, tonight the team needs to act like a cohesive unit.
Philipp Grubauer was the goalie in the Philadelphia game, which makes sense because he’s supposed to be the tender to take us to the playoffs. However, he had a very inconsistent game.
Pavel Francouz hasn’t played since just before the long break. He recorded 22 saves in the team’s 6-3 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on January 20. He hasn’t been completely consistent this season, but he’s definitely shown flashes of that.
I think a lot of us would like to see Francouz in net. Whomever is between the pipes needs a rock solid game, though.
According to Avs insider Adrian Dater, Tyson Jost took a hard fall in practice on Sunday and was seen flexing his shoulder. However on Monday, he was a full participant in practice. I swear to the hockey gods if the coaching staff use that as an excuse to bench him or limit his ice time… 🤬.
How to Enjoy the Game
Game Time: Feb. 4, 5:00 pm MT
TV: ALT, MSG-B (Sabres’ feed)
Radio: Altitude Radio (FM 92.5/AM 950)