Blue Jackets-Avalanche Preview
The Colorado Avalanche opened a seven-game homestand in defeat,
but may have suffered a bigger loss in the course of that
The Avalanche begin an extended stretch without the injured P.A.
Parenteau on Tuesday night against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Colorado (23-11-4) fell to 0-1-3 in its last four with Sunday’s
2-1 overtime loss to Winnipeg. Parenteau went down with a left knee
injury in the second period and is expected to miss six weeks with
an MCL sprain.
The winger is tied for fourth on the team with 24 points after
he tied for the Colorado lead with 43 a season ago. Brad Malone
will be called up from the minors for his second stint with the
club, and rookie Nathan MacKinnon will replace Parenteau on the
line with Paul Stastny and left wing Gabriel Landeskog.
“It’s part of the season, you’re losing guys and it gives others
opportunities to show what they have,” coach Patrick Roy said. “And
it’s a great chance for Malone now.”
Roy was asked about the fact that the Jets got physical with
Semyon Varlamov, who will start Tuesday and has a 2.18 goal-against
average in his last nine appearances. The coach and former star
goalie said it was a result of Varlamov’s strong work in the
“This is the next step,” Roy said “He’s playing so well, teams
are gonna try to get in his face a little bit more. I love it, I
Varlamov is 3-2-1 with two shutouts and a 1.66 GAA in his career
against the Blue Jackets.
Columbus (17-18-4) is 4-1-0 in its last five matchups with
Colorado. The Blue Jackets are seeking their first three-game road
win streak in the opener of this four-game trip.
The club is without reigning Vezina Trophy winner Sergei
Bobrovsky, out since Dec. 3 with a groin injury. Bobrovsky could
return on this trip while Curtis McElhinney and Mike McKenna have
combined for a 2.91 GAA in the 11 games he has missed.
“Our team game has been better and our structure has been better
and that’s protected our goalies, but our goalies have still made
some big saves at key times when you need them to,” coach Todd
Richards told the Blue Jackets’ official website. “You look at the
Carolina game (Dec. 23) in the last seconds and McKenna makes a
great save on a pass across … it’s making those timely saves and
our team play has done a better job as far as insulating our
“They both have done a great job for us.”
Richards did not say who would start Tuesday, although
McElhinney is expected to get the nod. His club’s three-game win
streak was snapped with Sunday’s 5-3 home loss to Pittsburgh.
Ryan Johansen was held pointless for a second straight game
after he recorded 14 points in his previous 12 contests. McElhinney
made 25 saves in suffering his second loss in his last six
The Blue Jackets remain without injured forwards Marian Gaborik
and Nathan Horton, although Horton is nearing his club debut after
Columbus will have to be wary of Matt Duchene, who has 13 points
in his last eight games although he has gone pointless in his last
two like Johansen.