Season Series Record, Ducks vs. Avalanche: 2-0-0
KNOW THY ENEMY
Record (Points): 12-22-5 (29 pts)
Place in Northwest Division: 5th
Place in Western Conference: 15th
Who's Hot? Well, They're 1-8-1 in their last ten. The hottest thing you'll find in the Avs dressing room is the steam coming out of our beloved J.S. Giguere's ears because this team doesn't give a shit anymore.
Who's Not? You could kind of take your pick here, but neither Simyon Varlamov (3.02 GAA, .902 Sv%) nor Jiggy (2.84GAA, .911 Sv%) are in the top 30 in Goals Against or Save Percentage for the year.
Numbers for Nerds: PA Parenteau leads the Avs in scoring (15-22-37) which tells you just about all you need to know about a team with Matt Duchene, Gabriel Landeskog (missed 11 games in February with a head injury)and Ryan O'Reilly (Missed all of January and February due to contract dispute). Colorado is 29th in Goals per Game (2.28) 27th in Goals Against per Game (3.15) 25th in Power Play Percentage (13.8) and 20th in Penalty Kill Percentage (80.3, just above the Ducks' 80.0% in 21st).
Enemy Dossier: You kind of have to feel for Colorado this season. Mile High Hockey's preview for tonight just makes me want to give them a hug. We know from last year, it's pretty tough to go down the stretch with everyone else getting psyched up for playoffs while you're just waiting for it to be over. At least it's almost time to go to Vegas.
The Ducks can clinch a playoff spot by earning a single point tonight. It’s little more than a formality that they'll clinch eventually, but the division is far less secure, and therefore far more complicated. There are plenty of different scenarios, but the bottom line is that if the Ducks win three of their remaining eight games, they’ll sew up their second division title in franchise history. But I'm getting ahead of myself, that can't happen tonight.
It appears, Ryan Getzlaf will again be a "game time decision" according to the Ducks' Official Twitter account:
Boudreau again says Getzlaf is a game-time decision and that he will at least skate in the warmup tonight. #NHLDucks— Anaheim Ducks (@AnaheimDucks) April 10, 2013
Boudreau on Getzlaf: "He wants to play. He feels like he’s capable of playing. He said ‘I can skate, I can shoot.’ We’ll see how it goes."— Anaheim Ducks (@AnaheimDucks) April 10, 2013
I personally have no problem with him sitting out. In fact, I wouldn't even mind resting Teemu Selanne as well. I don't think that he's injured or that the condensed schedule is even the main reason for his drop off in production of late, but tomorrow and Friday will be the first consecutive that the team has had off since Feb. 22-23 and he's 42-years-old.
We all remember what a beast Teemu was in the playoffs two years ago, so we all know there's another gear. But to get there, he has to be at 100% - also it would be nice if he could find a regular line mate or two. Sheldon Souray and Toni Lydman have gotten maintenance days and Getzlaf seems to be out of the lineup against his will. Why not give the oldest player in the league a break?
Back to tonight's game specifically, the Ducks' Morning Report says Hiller is likely to start and Matthew Lombardi skated in Getzlaf's place on the top line.
Based on Jiggy's comments after Colorado's loss to Calgary on Monday, I'd expect the Avs to come out flying in this game. If the Ducks can survive the first ten minutes or so without going down three goals (See: Sharks, San Jose) I like their chances of securing a playoff spot tonight.