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Avalanche Rink Notes: Jan. 21

by Aaron Lopez / Colorado Avalanche
As was the case yesterday, defenseman Adam Foote (ankle) and forward Marek Svatos (chest) skated before Thursday morning’s practice at Family Sports Center.

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Avalanche head coach Joe Sacco gave a brief updated on Foote’s status following practice, but not much has changed for the Avalanche captain. The defenseman has missed the last four games after suffering an ankle injury on Dec. 8 at Carolina.

“He’s still day-to-day,” said Sacco. “He participated with us for the first few drills and then he went off. He’ll be reevaluated again tomorrow morning.”

Matt Hendricks also did not skate with the team this morning. Sacco said Hendricks was bothered by a sore ankle and that he will also be reevaluated tomorrow morning prior to Colorado’s game against the Nashville Predators at Pepsi Center.

Unlike on Thursday, Foote and Svatos were joined in their pre-practice skate by defenseman Ruslan Salei. The Minsk, Belarus native has only played once this season – an Oct. 8 contest at Nashville – due to a back injury.

A Look At Tomorrow’s Contest
Friday’s game at Pepsi Center will feature two of the top teams in the Western Conference. Colorado currently leads the Northwest Division and holds the No. 3 seed in the conference with 62 points (28-15-6), while Nashville sits in the No. 4 spot with 61 points (29-17-3).

Tomorrow’s game may not be hyped as much as a game against a Northwest Division rival like Calgary or Vancouver, but the standings are packed as tightly this year as they’ve ever been, meaning every point is crucial.

“More so than any time I can really remember,” said Liles. “It’s extremely close and it’s going to be a battle.

“You get four wins in a row and it doesn’t seem like you’ve gained any ground; it seems like you’ve almost lost ground sometimes. It’s just something that we’ll continue to battle.”

While San Jose (74 points) and Chicago (72 points) have a bit of breathing room atop the Western Conference, the other clubs jockeying for playoff position aren’t so fortunate. Colorado’s 62 points puts the club just six ahead of the Detroit Red Wings, who are currently on the outskirts of the playoff picture with 56 points in the No. 9 spot.

“It’s been a grind all year with teams playing well,” said netminder Craig Anderson. “You have to win your games and worry about what you can control.”

As for Colorado and Nashville, both clubs are 7-3-0 in their last ten games. The Avalanche has been solid at home, posting a 13-6-2 record, while the Predators are one of the top road teams in the NHL with a 15-7-2 mark.

One thing working in the Avalanche’s favor is that the club is well rested. Following Monday’s 6-0 win, the team took Tuesday off before practicing yesterday and today. The Predators, on the other hand, will open a four-game road swing tonight in Phoenix before traveling to Denver for Friday’s contest.
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