Colorado Avalanche: 39-29-6, 4th in Northwest, 8th in Western Conference
Calgary Flames: 37-26-10, 3rd in Northwest , 7th in Western Conference
The Flames return to the dome tonight after a forgettable road trip that saw them go 1-3-0.
This game will be the 7th time these clubs meet this regular season, and though the Avs have won 4 of the 6 games so far, 3 of those were in extra time. The most recent game was in a 3-2 OT win for the Avs, back on February 26th.
The Flames are on a 1 game losing streak after losing to Columbus on Tuesday, while the Avalanche have lost their last 2 games, the most recent being a 3-1 defeat at the hands of the Wild, on March 17.
Apparently Tanguay left the ice about 10 minutes into practice which is why you're seeing Smith on the second line. Don't expect that will be the case come gametime however. I also don't know why there's a 5th forward line shown there, maybe it was just to see if Nystrom was able to go.
Kerr also mentions that Sutter watched some of the practice from behind the bench. Speculate away.
Injuries: Rhett Warrener is out for sure for the Flames, and Tanguay/Nystrom are questionable. For the Avs, Forsberg and Foote missed practice yesterday, and may or may not be in the line-up.
Keys to tonights game:
What road trip? Don't dwell on what happened the last few games. Keep a positive attitude and don't sink into a slump.
Intensity: Every game from here on out should be treated like a playoff game. The players know this and the fans know this.
Be Physical: The Avs have the 29th ranked PP in the league. Without going overboard, play especially physical and don't be overly worried about taking penalties.
Well, this is it. Time for this team to show us what they're really made of. After that horrible road trip, I hope to see a pissed off team, coming out battling hard for the win.
Hopefully Tanguay is good to go tonight.
GO FLAMES GO!
Colorado C Peter Forsberg was nowhere to be seen Wednesday morning at practice. Nursing a tender groin -- that's the assumption, anyway -- he took a pass on the workout. There was also no sign of C Paul Stastny (flu), while D Adam Foote (hip) didn't stay on the ice for long. Of Forsberg's and Foote's availability for Thursday, coach Joel Quenneville hemmed and hawed, then said that the two veterans were "likely." Later in the day, the Flames' optional practice proved to be no more illuminating. Skating were D Anders Eriksson, LW Eric Nystrom and C Craig Conroy. G Curtis Joseph, pad-less, also went for a spin. The Flames, meanwhile, were saying all the right things following their sloppy 1-3-0 road trip (against four bottom-end teams). Whether they do all the right things is another matter. But with their nine remaining games all within the Northwest Division, no one will have to wait long to see.