Two games in two days in two cities to close out the RTFH (tm)? Only a cranky NHL scheduling secretary could have written that one. Then again, last year, the Avalanche were abysmal and the Coyotes were halfway to Hamilton. So far this year, they've both got 80+ points. Looks like a series of hairpin turns at the end of the road trip...
But fear not. The previously discussed water mark for the RTFH (tm) has been reached, as the Canucks cannot do any worse than .500 to wrap the trip up. They can slip as far as sixth in the standings, though, which is why tonight's game gets Tuesday Morning Coffee's, as well as the communities', attention as a big game.
The Colorado Avalanche have more than held their own on their own sheet of ice, going 21-9-2 this season. Paul Stastny (a familiar foe for Luongo) leads all Avs with 61 points (12/49), followed by Chris Stewart with 51 (24/27) and Matt "Fuck Tavares" Duchene, with 45 (21/24). The Avs' goalie tonight will be Chris Anderson, who will be starting his 20th consecutive game. Suffice it to say, a lot has changed since the Canucks and Avs last faced off back on 11/21/2009. Including video game cover models. Back then? The 2KSports cover guy was Ovie. Now? Livonia, MI's finest, Ryan Kesler. Look for him tonight, he'll have to score if the Sedins get off to a slow start and defend himself (and even trade blows) if an altercation occurs. From what we know of Kesler, when he does great things, he has no problem telling the competition about it. Another great subplot.
Something else to take note of tonight is, if the rumors are true, the goalie situation. The grapevine says AV will put Roberto Luongo in tonight, then start Andrew Raycroft tomorrow against the 'Yotes. Does that mean Luongo's going to have a short leash if he stinks up the joint? Or will AV stick with him no matter what this game?
Don't drive 1/6th of the way across the country (a tad!) the wrong way and miss this one... we're on at 6 PM PST on Sportsnet!
In other news, there's a high likelihood Marc Savard is done for the year after Matt Cooke "finished my check" and introduced a shoulder socket to an eye socket. I saw the hit a few times and think it indeed crossed the boundary from "part of the game" to "cheap shot." However, it's up to the powers that be to figure out a suitable punishment. I know I'd push for a ten-game suspension. What about the rest of the Misconduct faithful?