Both the Denver Nuggets and Colorado Avalanche are in action Friday night as both teams are coming off of losses. The Nuggets would get their winning streak snapped at seven games by the Cleveland Cavaliers Wednesday, while the Avalanche would get absolutely chewed apart the Edmonton Oilers last night. I will start with the Denver Nuggets:
When: Friday, December 6th.
Where: TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts.
Time: 7:30 pm ET/5:30 pm MT
Ty Lawson is coming off of his worst performance of maybe his career. The guard would shoot 1-for-13 against the Cavs on Wednesday night, finishing with four points and eleven assists. Here is what Ty had to say:
“I feel like I missed all easy shots,” said Lawson, who had 11 assists. “I ain’t never shot 1 for 13 before in my life.”
He will have a chance to bounce back against the (8-12) Boston Celtics Friday night. One area where the Denver Nuggets struggle at is guarding a premier center or power forward. J.J. Hickson would be exposed by the 7-foot Andrew Bynum at Quicken Loans Arena. Hickson stands at 6-foot-9 and Bynum would punish him in the paint. Like I said in the recap game against the Cavs, the Nuggets need JaVale McGee for match-ups like that, especially with his height.
Wilson Chandler has sparked this Nuggets team with his defense and three-ball here and there. Since returning from a nagging hamstring injury forcing the forward to sit out the whole preseason and miss some regular season action, he has averaged 10.5 points per game, 1.7 assists, and 3.9 rebounds. He will have the task of shutting down Jeff Green, who leads the Boston Celtics in scoring adding 16.8 points per game.
Now on to the Colorado Avalanche:
The Avalanche are coming off of an embarrassing loss to the Edmonton Oilers Thursday night. The Oilers would lead 4-2 after two periods and absolutely out-played the Avalanche in the third. They would score four-unanswered as Taylor Hall completed a hat-trick, earning the victory, 8-2. Here is what Patrick Roy said of the Oilers:
“I think they played well. They score power-play goals, they score on the rush … we knew as a team that would be very dangerous if we just exchange chances with them,” Roy said. “We just played into their game tonight. That’s all. And we need to learn from it.”
The Avs have a chance to bounce back on a back-to-back, as they will play the Flames in Calgary tonight.
When: Friday, December 6th.
Where: Scotiabank Saddledome, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Time: 9:00 pm ET/7:00 pm MT
TV: Altitude Sports
The Avalanche penalty-kill unit hasn’t been the same in the last nine games, as it was formerly ranked first in National Hockey League earlier in the season. They killed 88.7% percent of opponents chances over their first seventeen games of the year, earning a 14-3-0 record. Over those last nine, they have allowed 9 goals on 27 chances.
The Avalanche will also be without defenseman Jan Hejda, as he will be getting his knee examined today in Denver. This is a huge blow to an already weak defensive team, as Hejda was a league-leader in plus/minus at a +17 rating. The offense will need to be cautious playing their up-tempo style of play tonight as the defense is thin; limit the giveaways.
Projected Starting Goaltenders:
Colorado Avalanche: Jean-Sebastien Giguere: 6-0-0, 1.62 GAA.
Calgary Flames: Karri Ramo: 4-4-1, 3.00 GAA.
The Avalanche are currently 19-7-0 on the season with 38 points. They will need to get some more production out of Paul Stastny, who hasn’t recorded in a point in four-straight games.