Avs Preview: This looks familiar
Stewart and Johnson will be facing off with their jersey's swapped
Avs play in St. Louis tonight only days after the blockbuster trade that saw Erik Johnson join the Avs in exchange for Chris Stewart and Kevin Shattenkirk. All the players involved have had a chance to play at least one game with their new respective clubs and all played decently. Last night St. Louis lost to Chicago 5-3, and neither Stewart or Shattenkirk got a point. In fact, as I was watching the game, a particular goal by Chicago saw Shattenkirk standing around in front of the net as a blackhawk skated in and put the puck in the net off the face-off. Yupp, that was the Shattenkirk I remembered on the defensive side.
The Avs come into tonight on the franchises longest losing streak ever at 10 games, and those 10 games haven't been pretty. The good news is the Avs will get some offensive help they desperately need when Matt Duchene returns to the lineup tonight. As for goaltending, Peter Budaj will start yet again as Elliott has yet to obtain a visa. Word is the soonest Elliott can join the team is on Wednesday, but the team will have to see.
Duchene had some words of wisdom at practice yesterday after sitting out a few games and getting to see the team play from another view. "The guys have to do what they did to get them here. Right now, we're trying not to lose rather than try to win, we're playing on our heels, not our toes, and we're not having any fun" (Denver Post). Hopefully Duchene can inject some life back into the lineup and finally get this team out of its rut.
There were a ton of rumors from the Avs yesterday that have since been squashed. The Paul Stastny rumors were made up by Adrian Dater of the Denver Post as a god deal, but that isn't going to happen. More than likely we will see Ryan O'Reilly on the move than any other player with 5 center man on the roster and Ryan having the most upside while also being expendable. Another rumor has to do with John Micheal Liles and the Toronto Maple Leafs. Word was the Avs and Leafs were in initial talks over Liles however, the Avs were asking for too much.
We will see what happens over the week, as the Avs GM has said he isn't done dealing. The next week will be very interesting for the Avs and the players.