Sure, the Colorado Avalanche haven’t had much luck with stopping the Calgary Flames this season. But they are fresh off another shootout win (with HUGE attaboys to Ryan O’Reilly, Philippe Dupuis, and Jay McClement) and surely in the mood to play playoff spoiler to the team that slaughtered them 9 – 1 on Valentine’s Day. The Flames currently sit at 9th in the West, three points behind the 8th place Chicago Blackhawks with three games (including Sunday night) remaining.
And to that sentiment, I say a resounding GO AVS!
Series Record: Avalanche 1, Flames 4
The Calgary Flames have outscored the Avalanche 26 – 13 in their five games. The Avs haven’t beaten the Flames since October 28, 2010, and they had to score 6 goals to do so.
The good news is that the Avs have actually scored 13 goals against the Flames this season. Not bad. The men still in the line up who have come up big for the Avalanche include Brandon Yip, Daniel Winnik, Mark Olver, and Cody McLeod.
The Flames have pretty much scored at will against the Avalanche, with everyone getting in on the action. Niklas Hagman, Tim Jackman, Matt Stajan, Olli Jokinen, Alex Tanguay, Curtis Glencross, Mikael Backlund, David Moss, Tom Kostopoulos, Jarome Iginla, David Moss, Anton Babchuck, Mark Giordano, Rene Bourque, and Ales Kotalik have all scored goals in the season series.
The most often-seen goaltenders in the series are Peter Budaj for the Avs and Mikka Kiprusoff for the Flames.
Keep an eye on Ryan O’Reilly, Philippe Dupuis, Brandon Yip, Matt Duchene, and Jarome Iginla.
Ryan O’Reilly had an absolutely killer game on Friday night. A goal, an assist, and the shootout winner. I’m so happy that this hard working kid is finally getting some offensive production and the recognition that goes with it. O’Reilly has earned every single ounce of it and more. I’m sure the competitive O’Reilly will want to keep this swing going against the Flames tonight.
Philippe Dupuis has found himself in a bit of an awkward place this season. He played too well in camp to not make the team, and his grinding style of play has certainly improved the team. But with a plethora of centers and Dupuis’ low offensive numbers he has found himself in the press box a lot lately. Perhaps scoring the first goal against Phoenix on Friday night will get him the ice time his play deserves.
To call Brandon Yip invisible lately is only a little bit of an understatement. He has scored a mere 5 points since January 1. He has been productive against the Flames, however, scoring two goals in the season series. If he would like to show up and maybe put one in the net tonight, that would be terrific.
Matt Duchene was not a scoring part of the Avs’ win over the Coyotes on Friday. In fact, he only had one shot on net all night. My guess is he will not be happy with this and look to turn on his game tonight against Calgary.
Jarome Iginla just hit the 1000 career point mark Friday night when the Flames won in St. Louis. The guy is an obvious offensive threat and he has done more than his share of damage in Colorado. Iginla will be fighting extra hard to get his team to a playoff berth as well as getting his 40th season goal. I fully expect him to be putting on a show against Colorado tonight, probably co-starring ex-Av Alex Tanguay, who has scored 1 goal and 4 assists in the past two games.
For your viewing/listening pleasure:
The puck drops at the Pepsi Center at 6:00 pm MDT. The television broadcast can be seen on Altitude, and the Altitude radio broadcast will be on Denver radio at AM 950 and online through NHL Game Radio.
The 2010-11 Colorado Avalanche season is rapidly drawing to a close. It has been somewhat of a train wreck leaving fans all over the world feeling a little defeated. The players surely feel the same way, now playing merely for pride and next season’s opportunities. It would be excellent to see the boys come out skating hard and playing to win, giving themselves a true chance to spoil the playoff hopes of a division rival.
Just in case you didn’t catch it before…GO AVS!