I haven't missed this many Avalanche games since 2003-04 - the last year (excluding the lockout) that I didn't have NHL Center Ice.
The big news that Avalanche fans are talking about is the demotion of TJ Galiardi in favor of Ryan Stoa for tonight's game. Galiardi was sent down to Lake Erie yesterday.
With the loss of Ryan O'Reilly, Galiardi was moved to center for the 4-3 OT win against Vancouver on Tuesday night. He finished with zeros across the board, and he received the least amount of ice time for anyone not named McLeod or Koci.
That said, there's another player in Sacco's doghouse and his name is Brandon Yip, who has played very little hockey in 2011.
With the call-up of Ryan Stoa, will Yip have a chance to play himself out of his funk tonight?
Now that the Avs are getting healthier, I'd like to see all the pieces we imagined to be set in place. Yeah, maybe Galiardi and Yip have been disappointing this season, but there's no way that David Koci and his 2 minutes of ice time contributes more on a nightly basis.
Avs fans must live by the motto: "In Sacco We Trust." He's the guy who figured out how to get Chris Stewart to elevate his game to a superstar's level. In his short tenure with the Avalanche, he's made guys be healthy scratches for one game, only to see them come back ready and refreshed in the next game. As the former coach of the Monsters, he has a good instinct for how younger players operate, and he seems to know what buttons to push in order to get each specific player to play better.
Then comes the problem of Matt Hunwick.
Why the hell is he still in the lineup? Turnovers. Turnovers. Turnovers.
Wait, that's a negative.
Maybe he brings the unique ability to move the puck and to pass and to shoot, blah, blah, blah.
Wait, John-Michael Liles and Kevin Shattenkirk do that, too.
Tonight marks the return of Kyle Cumiskey. It's time for Hunwick to sit.
Phoenix at Colorado
9PM ET/ 7PM MT