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Avalanche Rink Notes: Feb. 9

by Aaron Lopez / Colorado Avalanche
Only 13 hours after finishing off a 5-2 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Monday night, the Avalanche was back at work Tuesday morning at Family Sports Center in preparation for a visit from the Atlanta Thrashers tomorrow.

Wednesday’s game will be the only time Colorado and Atlanta square off this season after meeting twice a year ago. Under the NHL’s current scheduling structure, teams play each of their 15 interconference opponents at least once each season. Since every club plays 18 cross-conference contests, a rotating slate of three additional games is added to the schedule – meaning the Avalanche plays a home-and-home series with three teams from the Eastern Conference during the season.

The Thrashers made a big splash last week, trading the face of their franchise - star forward Ilya Kovalchuk - to the New Jersey Devils in a blockbuster deal. The former No. 1 overall pick is the team’s all-time leader in games (594), goals (328), assists (287) and points (615).

Atlanta has split a pair of games since making the trade, losing to Washington, 5-2, on Friday and topping Florida by a 4-2 count on Saturday. The Thrashers will come into the game well rested, having three days off between games.

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Injury Updates
Forwards Ryan O’Reilly and Wojtek Wolski did not participate in Tuesday’s practice. After the skate, Avalanche head coach Joe Sacco addressed their absences.

O’Reilly, who missed his first game as a professional last night due to a foot injury, is still considered day-to-day at this time. His status for Wednesday’s game has yet to be decided.

“He didn’t skate today, obviously,” said Sacco. “We’ll see how he feels tomorrow morning.”

According to the head coach, Wolski should be fine to play against Atlanta. The forward briefly left Monday’s game in the second period after blocking a shot while the Avalanche was killing a St. Louis power play. After a quick trip to the locker room, Wolski finished the period and the game.

Sacco labeled it a “maintenance day” for the forward.

“Wolski is going to be fine,” said Sacco. “He’s got some bumps and bruises so we just gave him the day off today. He should be fine for tomorrow.”
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