Peter Budaj will be in goal on Monday when the Colorado Avalanche takes on the Detroit Red Wings at Pepsi Center.
The netminder, who boasts a 10-6-3 record with a 3.03 goals-against average in 20 appearances, also started each of Colorado’s first three contests against Detroit this season. Budaj posted a 1-1-1 record in those games, winning by a 5-4 count in a shootout on Oct. 12, dropping a 3-1 decision on Nov. 13 and then falling in overtime, 4-3, on Dec. 27 at Pepsi Center.
Budaj is 4-4-2 in 10 career games against Detroit, a team that currently ranks second in the Western Conference (and the entire NHL) with 59 points.
The Avs, meanwhile, sit in fifth place (48 points) after gaining a point during Saturday’s 4-3 overtime loss to the New York Islanders. But according to forward David Jones
, the team knows that with how competitive the Western Conference is, that ranking can (and will) change on a daily basis - probably for the remainder of the season.
“We’re fortunate right now that we’re still up there. If you look at how tight it is, every point is super important,” said Jones. “The difference between fifth and 13th is only a few points, so we really have to take a look at ourselves, come out and try to take away two points every night. At the end of the season we don’t want to look back and say that we missed out on a point in an overtime loss and that affected our season.”
Defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk was injured when he took a shot off his skate during the second period Sunday against the Islanders. Although he finished last night’s game, Shattenkirk did not practice today.
According to Avalanche head coach Joe Sacco, the rookie was held off the ice today due to swelling in the foot. At this point, Shattenkirk is considered day-to-day, and the team will see how he feels on Monday morning.
Forward Cody McLeod
(groin) was on the ice alone before practice, skating in a normal, black practice jersey. When the team’s practice began, he swapped out the black jersey for an orange non-contact sweater and took part in a good chunk of the skate. McLeod has missed nine of the Avalanche’s past 10 games with the injury, which he originally sustained on Dec. 17 against Ottawa.
Also wearing an orange jersey today was Chris Stewart (hand), who has been out since Nov. 27. Stewart participated in the non-contact portions of practice. Sacco noted that Stewart has been skating and handling the puck well.
There is still no firm timetable for the return of either McLeod or Stewart.
Defenseman Kyle Cumiskey, who is working his way back into game shape after recovering from his Oct. 30 concussion, continues to progress but won’t be available to play against Detroit.
Finally, captain Adam Foote and assistant captain Milan Hejduk
took maintenance days on Sunday.