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Ducks @ Avalanche PREVIEW: Showdown on Friday the 13th

The Ducks head out to Denver for the season’s first roadtrip

NHL: Anaheim Ducks at Colorado Avalanche Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Game #5

Anaheim Ducks @ Colorado Avalanche

Friday, October 13th, 6:00 PM PST

Pepsi Center


Radio: AM 830,

Your Enemy: Mile High Hockey

After Wednesday night’s win, Anaheim is headed for a quick trip to Colorado where they will be playing the Colorado Avalanche. Denver’s finest just snagged a win of their own in their home opener against the Boston Bruins.

The Avs finished last season with only 48 points, the fewest amount of points earned by any team in the salary cap era. And honestly, this season doesn’t look like it’ll be much different. I mean there’s no sugar-coating it—the only remaining question left for this team is when will reconstruction of this team will begin? And that all starts with a guy named Matt Duchene. The drama of the Colorado Avalanche is set to unfold. GM Joe Sakic has a lot to ponder. Duchene can either bring in good young prospects or can be a loss in value, all depending on the state of the hockey market and the timing of the offers. There’s already been tons of drama involving Peter Forsberg’s comments on Duchene, and I’m sure Colorado is bracing for a whole lot more. Let’s just say that this year’s Trade Deadline should be a blast.

But as for the current play of the Avs, despite sporting a sad roster, they’ve done alright in the first 4 games. Goaltender Semyon Varlamov returned rehabilitated from hip surgery and looks much more comfortable in net. That being said, he still is the last resort for the team with one of the, if not the worst, defensive corps in the league. Offense-wise, the Avs still have Nathan MacKinnon (remember him?). The 2013 number one draft pick has really been stifled by the lack of support. While Sakic did acquire Nail Yakupov and Colin Wilson, it is hard to believe that these two guys will be the difference between last season and this season. It all remains to be seen.

So sure, on paper, the Avs don’t stack up to much of a threat. That being said, the Anaheim Ducks have a ton of their own issues to address. The first period slump is probably the first thing Randy Carlyle has to figure out. Fortunately there’s one player who is NOT in a first period funk, and that’s John Gibson. He’s cool as a cucumber when it comes to being peppered with shots. Another issue that (always) needs to be addressed is the power play. I mean, if we’re being honest, when is the power play ever not an issue? Carlyle just hasn’t found the right formula and combination for the PP unit. But to be fair, he doesn’t exactly have the right ingredients on hand to cook up the perfect recipe. So time will tell once the Ducks do heal up. There a bunch of other things like zone exits and clearing the front of the net. So while the Avs have issues, Ducks got’em too.

Friday the 13th may be a foreboding date for lots of people, but to us, it is just another game day. Go Ducks!