The Colorado Avalanche are getting ready to play against the Chicago Blackhawks tonight. It’s a chance for the Avalanche to try and narrow the nine-point gap between them and the Central Division leaders.
They might win the night, but surprisingly not even Colorado coach Patrick Roy thinks they’ll win the race.
“We know that Chicago is going to be on top in our [division],” Roy told NHL.com’s Brian Hedger. “We don’t think we’re going to battle with Chicago in the standings.
“I’d like to be very positive, but at the same time I see where we are and this is a very good team [we’re playing].”
Coaches paint their team as the underdogs all the time, but to preemptively declare the other squad as the victors is pretty rare. Even still, perhaps he hopes it will light a fire under his struggling players.
The Avalanche got off to a 14-2-0 start this season, but they’ve been just 9-8-3 since then. They have also dropped three of their last four contests, although two of those defeats came in shootouts.
This will be their second contest against Chicago this season. Colorado earned a 5-1 victory over the Blackhawks on Nov. 19.
With their mothers traveling on the road trip — Matt Bartkowski‘s mom, Beth, has become a cult hero in Vancouver after another priceless media interview — the Canucks took back-to-back wins, moving them right back into the thick of the playoff fight in the Western Conference.
Up by a goal in the third period, defenseman Alex Biega played the hero, pulling the puck out of the crease after it got by Ryan Miller on a backhand shot from Kyle Chipchura, maintaining Vancouver’s lead.
Phaneuf burned on Zetterberg game-winner in Sens debut
“I put my stick there, he put (the puck) under and he made a good shot. I’ve got to have a better stick in that situation, but you’ve got to give him credit for that play.”
Phaneuf finished the night with a minus-one rating and two hits in almost 22 minutes of ice time, putting him second among Sens defensemen in that category behind Erik Karlsson, who played a whopping 33:30.
Phaneuf drilled Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser with a hard slap shot early in the third period.
DeKeyser played one more shift — all of 10 seconds — before exiting the game.
Blashill says DeKeyser has a bruise, not a break. Will know more tomorrow, but probably day-to-day