Avs preview, Stastny added to the All-star team

Paul Stastny has been named as a replacement for the All-Star Game!

Prior to my preview of tonight's contest against the Coyotes, I want to congratulate Paul Stastny who has been named as a replacement for the All-Star game. Paul will be joining Matty D and the Avs now have three players going including rookie Kevin Shattenkirk who will be apart of the skills competition. Paul has had an up and down year and it is good to see him finally be able to attend an all-star game after the last time where he was injured and could not attend. Good luck to both him and Matt and I hope they make the organization and the fans proud.

Avalanche vs Coyotes

Tonights game is huge for the team and what could happen the rest of the season. There is a big difference from riding a two game winning streak into the break than a one game losing streak. The Avs will need this momentum if they are to make a push, and I have a feeling that tonight is going to be a big turning point in the season for the Avs. It will either be a trip to the post season or a date with the golf course. I honestly feel I can come back to this blog at the end of the season and see that this game really decided the Avs fate.

Peter Budaj will be in nets for the Avs for the second straight game, which really confuses me. At practice coach iterated that Craig Anderson is still the number one yet he is going with Budaj for the second straight game. That message from the coach is bad for both the goalies in my opinion. By starting Budaj he is sending a message of no confidence towards Andy, and by saying Andy is still number one he is showing Budaj he is not going to make Budaj the official number one. In essence the goalie situation is in flux for the Avs and until Andy can find his game, the team could be in trouble. I am sorry for people who love Budaj, I love the guy, but I know he is no more than a glorified backup in this league. Andy has got to take his game to the next level otherwise management could show him the door this summer and go in a different direction.

Players to Watch
Matt Duchene
Matt has recently gone into what I call a slump. The kid was putting up points in every single game and currently only has one point in the last three games. He shows up every night for this team and rarely takes a night off. I don't know if it is bad luck, or the constant change in who is linemates are but Sacco needs to find a way to bring Duchene some help. In the last game at one point, Duchene was playing with Stoa and yip who were having great games. But Matt needs to find a consistent line in order to get in a groove and since Fleischmann went down so has Matt. Let's hope that if Forsberg comes back he can bring a solid consistent linemate for Matt.

Chris Stewart
Stewart was benched last game in the third because of his bad play since coming back from injury. Me personally didn't even realize that Stewart was back except for the team stating he had returned from injury. No guy just hasn't shown up or shown even a glimpse of the All-star lock Stewart had at the beginning of the season. We will see if he can step it up and finally find his game before he gets any further into Sacco's dog house.