The Scouting Report: Colorado Avalanche
CALGARY, AB -- The Colorado Avalanche are doing their best to keep pace in a Western Conference playoff chase that is already being scrutinized.
But losers of their last three games, the Avalanche will try to use the Calgary Flames as a springboard back into the win column at the Pepsi Center on Thursday night. Though they are searching for their first win in four games, Colorado has managed points in their last two after taking the San Jose Sharks to a shootout on Tuesday and falling in overtime to the Anaheim Ducks last Sunday.
Still, a single point in three-point contests isn’t the route to the playoffs for an Avalanche squad currently sitting 14th in the conference.
The good news for Colorado? The Avlanche are just on point back of the Flames and four points behind the Detroit Red Wings for eighth.
A string of wins for either squad would go a long way in building confidence and momentum in the Western Conference.
SOG: 32 | +/-: 4
Despite having just three goals and five points in 18 games this season, McLeod has been a threat offensively with points in two straight games. The six-foot-two grinder isn’t known for his offensive prowess, but is already halfway to his total production from a year ago when he notched 11 points in 75 games.
SOG: 46 | +/-: -8
Despite averaging over 22 minutes of action over the last four games, Stastny has just one assist to show for his efforts. The five-time 20-goal scorer has had his productive stretches this season but has had bouts of inconsistency that has plagued him throughout the shortened season.
THREE PLAYERS TO WATCH
The son of former Tampa Bay Lightning owner Len, Barrie has acquitted himself well to the Avalanche on the Colorado blueline. Pointless in a 10 game call-up during the 2011-12 season, Barrie has five points in 11 games and is quickly solidifying his position on the team’s blueline, as his 20 minutes a night average would attest to.
Returning to the Avalanche lineup Sunday night after missing 11 games with a concussion, Landeskog’s return is a big boost for a Colorado squad struggling to find traction in the Western Conference. The Colorado captain and reigning Calder Trophy winner will be counted on to lead the Avalanche in their charge up the standings.
Having just 25 goals in 222 games over parts of four seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs and New York Rangers, Mitchell has found the back of the net six times just 17 games into his career with the Avalanche. Already eclipsing his total from a season ago, the 28-year-old Mitchell has never played better offensively at the NHL level.
BY THE NUMBERS
Colorado’s Record This Season: 7-8-3 (14th in the Western Conference)
Colorado’s Record Last Season: 35-36-11 (12th in Western Conference)
Calgary’s Record This Season: 7-7-4 (12th in Western Conference)
Avalanche Scoring Leaders: CLICK HERE
Flames Scoring Leaders: CLICK HERE