Since we last met the Colorado Avalanche...
IN: Dynamic 23-year-old winger Peter Mueller has recovered from the concussion symptoms which cost him his entire 2010-11 season, and is back to his scoring ways. That's great news.
OUT: Brandon Yip (claimed off waivers by Nashville), Matt Duchene (knee). Jan Hejda (groin) might be available for tonight.
Possible Colorado lineup:
McLeod-Van Der Gulik-Kobasew
In Net: J.S. Giguere, who has posted better numbers than Varlamov (.923 SV%)
Kings lineup: Same old, same old.
Game outlook: There have been two weird games against the Avalanche this season: one where Hejduk benefited from a wonky bounce out of Flukelandia, and another game where Williams' goal was waived off less than four minutes in. In both matches they needed to play better, though, so we'll have to see what kind of effort they come up with tonight. Colorado is a decent possession team that should make the playoffs.
There's been a lot of handwringing lately about OT points. I'll take those over strings of Terry Murray regulation losses any day, thank you very much. Just last January the Kings were in a pickle because they needed to turn more of those narrow losses into one-pointers. It's thanks to Sutter's run that we're no longer talking about the Kings being a possible lottery pick team.
The Kings are in survival mode. The awful parts of November and December placed them there.
They're still working on the offense, and they are consistently generating more pressure. Goals will come, and when they do, things will get easier. Until then, they'll just keep digging out.