The Avalanche will not see the return of Peter Mueller
tonight for Game Six of their Western Conference Quarterfinal matchup with the San Jose Sharks at Pepsi Center.
On Friday, when Avalanche head coach Joe Sacco addressed the media prior to an optional skate, he said the forward was “doubtful” for Saturday’s contest – an upgrade considering Mueller had been listed as out indefinitely since suffering a concussion on April 4 against the San Jose Sharks.
The Bloomington, Minn., native skated yesterday and was on the ice briefly again at Saturday’s morning skate, but will not play tonight.Sacco Happy With Svatos
Marek Svatos was inserted into the Avalanche’s lineup for Game Four and Game Five, and Sacco said he’s been happy with the return – particularly in his team’s last contest.
“I thought Marek played well last game. He hit the post one time there early in the game. He had a couple of chances offensively,” said Sacco. “He’s obviously going to help out on the power play too. He’s on one of the power play units and that’s got to be his bread and butter.”
Following the morning skate, Sacco said that Svatos will be in the lineup again tonight, playing the wing on a line with Ryan O’Reilly and Darcy Tucker. Line Change
Also of note, Sacco will make a few other tweaks to his line combinations for tonight’s contest to try and provide a spark. One move he will make will see Matt Duchene
centering Matt Hendricks and Chris Stewart to open the game.
“I’ll make adjustments as we go along. Nothing is set in stone out there. If I feel like I need to make necessary adjustments, like I do all season long, I’ll make changes,” said Sacco. “This is the time of the year where we have to find ways to manage some offense and try to and score some goals.”
That leaves T.J. Galiardi, Cody McLeod
, Kevin Porter
, Paul Stastny
, Stephane Yelle and Brandon Yip as the other six forwards likely to play, but Sacco didn’t elaborate on who would be skating with who at the start of tonight’s contest.Notes:
Kyle Cumiskey did not skate this morning, but Sacco said the defenseman was held off the ice for maintenance reasons and will play tonight…The Avalanche has fought back from a 3-2 deficit to win a playoff series on two occasions, the 2001 Stanley Cup Final against the New Jersey Devils and the 2002 Conference Semifinal against San Jose…Colorado is 10-9 when facing elimination since moving to Denver, including a 4-1 mark against the Sharks.