The Avs will be hosting the Dallas Stars tonight for the ninth game of the season.
The injuries continue to pile up for the Avs, as Ryan Wilson will be out indefinitely with an ankle injury. David Jones is still day to day with his knee injury, Gabe Landeskog is out indefinitely with a head injury (Coach Sacco said on the first that the leg injury has healed), and Steve Downie remains unavailable for the rest of the season.
Milan Hejduk is scheduled to play his 1,000th NHL game. (More here.)
The Dallas Stars come into the Pepsi Center with 7 points in 9 games. It will be important for the Avs to push the Stars further behind them. Kari Lehtonen is the Stars goaltender, and he’s already stolen a couple of games this season. The Avs need to be patient when it comes to beating him. Traffic in front, and a large number of shots should breed success. I expect a sharp defensive effort from the boys, to help Varlamov out. He’s faced over 30 shots in most games, but against Edmonton he only needed to face 26. Comparable numbers in the shots category would be ideal (the Avs had 40 on net in that game).
With Wilson injured, either Tyson Barrie or Shane O’Brien will be reinserted to the lineup. Considering Ryan O’Byrne’s poor play the past two games, I wouldn’t be surprised if Sacco pulled O’Byrne out and reinserted both defenseman. Given the fact that the Avs still have seven healthy d-men, I doubt they will recall another one up, even if Wilson’s injury is prolonged.