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Colorado On A Good Pace

by Aaron Lopez / Colorado Avalanche
The 2010-11 version of the Avalanche stacks up pretty well against the 2009-10 edition.

A season ago, Colorado earned a postseason berth thanks in large part to its blazing 10-1-2 start, which included a 4-1-2 mark during an early October road swing. Although this year’s club didn’t jump out of the gates quite as quickly, it’s nearly right on pace with last year’s team in terms of its point total.

Through approximately one quarter of the season (20 games), the 2009-10 squad posted a 12-5-3 record (27 points). This year’s team compares favorably with a 12-7-1 mark (25 points), due in part to its current four-game winning streak.

The first three of those victories came on home ice, improving Colorado’s record to 6-4-0 at Pepsi Center, but it’s the Avalanche’s early road record that is once again proving impressive. Colorado leads the Northwest Division with 25 points, including a 6-3-1 (13 points) road mark.

All of the above will be challenged on Wednesday when the Avs visit the Vancouver Canucks (10-7-3, 23 points) in a Northwest Division contest. You never want to concede points in a game that could have long-term ramifications when the division title is ultimately being decided at the end of the season.

The Avs are a confident bunch heading into the game thanks to their current winning streak.

“If you go around this room, man-to-man, I think each and every guy would say we’re pretty confident right now,” said Liles. “We have a good feeling throughout this team and it show in practices and games.”

That confidence should not be confused in any way with arrogance. Liles and the rest of his teammates realize just how tough a trial Wednesday’s game will be. Vancouver has been especially good on home ice, posting a 6-2-1 record at Rogers Arena. That record includes a 4-3 overtime victory over the Avs on Oct. 26.

“They’re a very tough team from top to bottom. It’s a game that I don’t think we’ll have any trouble getting up for,” said Liles. “It’s something we have to be prepared for because it’s a big divisional game. Right now we’re trying to continue a little streak we have going and hopefully we’ll continue winning and not look back. It’ll definitely be a tough test.”

Odds and Ends
After missing Monday’s practice due to “maintenance days,” both captain Adam Foote and center Matt Duchene were back on the ice Tuesday…Craig Anderson will start in goal against the Canucks…After the game against the Canucks, the Avalanche will face Edmonton on Thursday in the second half of back-to-back games…Thursday’s contest will mark the first of six meetings between the Avs and Oilers this season.
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