With Colorado being 3 of our next 4 opponents, here's a preview to the matchup, as a precursor to the GDTs.
The matchup starts tomorrow night in Vancouver, finishes in Colorado for the next 2 games, next Thursday and Saturday.
The schedule favours the canucks to start off the series, with a day off tonight, while the Avs play the Oilers. We're also playing the last of our so-far successful home-stand.
As far as the teams performances so far, the Avs seem to be going in a different direction than the canucks.
The Avs after a 7-3 home-ice win over the Flames, went on a four game losing streak - all at home. The first a 5-4 loss to the Preds, where the Avs, after getting a 3-0 lead after the first period, went on to lose the game 5-4 - and without a shootout or OT point to show for it. They followed that up getting a point in a shootout Loss to the Hawks; a game where they were outshot 40-29 on home ice. Their last game was against the Kings, where they lost a lead again. The Kings scored with a minute left to take the game in regulation, coming back from another 3 goal deficient.
The Avs are probably welcoming the road right now, after blowing two 3 goal leads in their last 3 games, on home ice. This is definitely not a team on any kind of positive streak right now. However, good teams find key times to turn their games around - not unlike what the canucks did after their blow-out loss to Minny just over a week ago. This will be a big matchup for the Avs. I would expect the intensity of this game to be pretty high on their part - I'd be disappointed as a fan of the game, if they didn't come out strong in this game.
Their game tonight is in Edmonton. I'd expect them to come out strong in this game as well, after losing their opening night game in Edmonton. Hopefully the Oilers wears them down a bit tonight for their matchup tomorrow, but Edmonton has it's own battered lineup, supporting a long losing streak of their own right now.
For the canucks, it's all roses right now. They are even getting the bounces in their favour, and everything else (almost) seems to be coming together - and it's all because of hard work. There is no doubt that they have turned around their games - as a team - since that Minny mess 9 days ago. Without even looking at the scoreboard, you can see this is clearly a different team. They're showing a commitment to working hard every shift, and it's paying off. Every game since the Minny loss, the canucks have outworked their opponents, and it's paid off in wins.
The schedule right now has been great for this team mentally as well. That last loss woke up the team, and they seem to finally realize that you can't win without working hard every night. That loss probably came at the right time too. Getting up for games against the Stars, Hawks or Yotes isn't as easy as being psyched up for a game against the Avs. And usually after winning a few, right now is the right time to get some motivation to continue this winning streak!
I'm expecting 3 tough games against the Avs. Both teams should be up for this series coming up. It'll also be interesting to see how Bertuzzi handles the Avs as well. Not to mention the soap-opera around May. He's still looking to find a place in Avs fans' hearts, knowing that the only way he gets there is by playing tough, gritty hockey - and he'll need to do that against the canucks - especially when the Avs return home for the 2nd and 3rd games.
If streaks, and trends mean anything, the canucks winning streak should continue tomorrow night, and then into Denver where the Avs have shown the ability to unravel quickly and easily as they have in their past few games.
The Avs though are too experienced a team to fold so quickly. Leaders like Sakic have the ability to motivate their teammates, and a coach like Quenneville is too good to lose control of his team this early into the season. I would expect the Avs to turn their games around soon. I would also expect the canucks to be fired up for this game - and guys like Bertuzzi, Jovo, Naslund, Ohlund and Morrison to be psyched for this game.
As a fan - this could be the best game - and mini-series - of the season so far.
Im glad that we're catching the avs in a cold spell, hopefully it continues for these games. I know both the avs and the nucks will deffinately be revved up for this game. Hopefully the nucks can take some more points from division rivals. This win streak could pay off huge in April if they keep it going.
I know I'm probably the minority here but this game is being blown way, way, way out of proportion by the media.
The players themselves hold no ill will towards each other regarding the Moore issue.
Colorado looks to have an off year and isn't in the running for the div. crown.
I think if everybody's expecting fireworks to happen, they'll be sorely dissapointed. I do think we'll win but it'll be like any old game.
Personally I think we have a bigger rivalry with Minny right now considering they're hot on our heels in the div.
rivalries don't change from week to week... the standings right now in the first month of the season will... Colorado is a much bigger rivalry for this team than Minny is... as is Calgary... and both right now are still bigger rivalries than Minny.
We're only 3 weeks into the season right now... no way that the Wild rivalry is all of sudden bigger for this team than the Avs... the team will be more pumped to play the Avs, as will the Avs.
As far as fireworks.... I'm not expecting a brawl or anything... I am expecting both teams to be working hard and playing with determination through the game - like you see with most big rivalries... IMO the Canucks-Avs rivalry is no doubt one of the bigger ones from around the league.
And Hejduk should also be in the lineup against us as well (a canuck killer)... he makes his debut tonight against the Oil.
I think a lot of people forget that towards the end of 2003-04, the Avalanche lost 7-3 to the Calgary Flames at home, came out to Vancouver, and creamed us 8-2 in a game many of us would like to forget.
Personally, I think it will be a tough battle, as the Avalanche hit rock-bottom, IMO, with the loss against Los Angeles, and I saw us getting back into our bad, lazy habits at times against Phoenix.
If think it means that the Avalanche have shown resiliency in the past to come back strong from bad losses. Which might have something to do with tomorrow's game.
Connect the dots.
The only thing the Avs have shown so far this year is an ability to loose signifigant leads in the third period.
When you combine the loss of Foote with the absolutely horrendous play of Blake you get a pretty questionable d-core. This on top of the additions of two slow players (Turgeon and Brunette) and the injury to The Duke has made Colorado a notably different team from years past.
I don't disagree they have a strong chance to snap out of it, but we'll be seeing them on the back-end of two games in two nights and they are playing Edmonton this evening, who is known for a fast and tiring end to end style of play.
Well, 3-0 Avs right now and the first period isn't even over yet.
Three-goal leads haven't been particularly safe for them in the recent past but they're definitely coming out strong. If Vancouver takes them lightly tomorrow, they're going to get embarassed. They need to step on the Avs' throats from the opening minute and not let up until the game's over.