The Colorado Avalanche will be taking on the Minnesota Wild tonight as they have received some good news. Defenseman Jan Hejda who looked like he suffered a serious knee injury, will be back in the line-up tonight, which takes rookie Nick Holden out of the line-up as a healthy scratch along with center Brad Malone. Also, defenseman Ryan Wilson was expected to play as well but head coach Patrick Roy would like Wilson to get a little more practice time before returning to a game.
Alex Tanguay has been out since November 2nd after hitting his knee into the boards against the Montreal Canadiens. He would have a set-back after developing a hip injury while rehabbing his knee by skating. Patrick Roy said Tanguay is feeling better which is good news for the Avs, but there is still no timetable for the winger. The Avalanche with Alex Tanguay in the line-up are 12-1-0 and without are 9-8-0. Here is Adrian Dater of the Denver Post’s take on Tanguay in the line-up:
I really think whether Tanguay comes back or not is going to be critical to any playoff hopes/success. If he can come back and Nathan MacKinnon can go back to a third-line role, that would just expand the Avs’ firepower so much. When you have all your real firepower on just two lines, it makes it so much easier for teams to play you for 60 minutes. But when there’s a guy like MacKinnon coming at you after Matt Duchene and Paul Stastny have already taken their shifts, it just becomes too much for teams to deal with consistently.
The Colorado Avalanche are currently 21-9-0 on the season with 42 points, taking on a division foe in the Minnesota Wild who are struggling of late at 18-11-5 with 41 points. In their last five games, the Wild are 0-4-1 and trail this Avalanche team by one point, but here’s the twist. The Avalanche have played four less games which makes this an important game for not only the Avs but the Wild.
Central Division Standings:
1: Chicago Blackhawks: 23-6-5, 51 points.
2: St. Louis Blues: 21-6-3, 45 points.
3: Colorado Avalanche: 21-9-0, 42 points.
4: Minnesota Wild: 18-11-5, 41 points.
5: Dallas Stars: 15-11-5, 35 points.
6: Nashville Predators: 15-14-3, 33 points.
7: Winnipeg Jets: 14-15-5, 33 points.
Minnesota: Zach Parise, 26.
Colorado: Matt Duchene, 24.
Minnesota: Jason Pominville, 15.
Colorado: Matt Duchene, 14.
Minnesota: Mikko Koivu, 18.
Colorado: Gabriel Landeskog, 13.
Minnesota: Marco Scandella, +9.
Colorado: Erik Johnson, +18.
Goals Against Average:
Minnesota: Josh Harding, 1.52.
Colorado: Jean-Sebastien Giguere, 1.83.