starts Tuesday when the Avalanche try to end a three-game losing streak, taking on Columbus at the Pepsi Center.
The GAME NOTES.
Both teams are desperate to get back on track – at least, they should be.
The Avalanche have fallen to ninth place in the Western Conference, two points out of a playoff position and one point ahead of four teams. Chicago, in 14th place, is only three points behind Colorado.
The Blue Jackets have the second wild card position in the East, but they’ve lost five games in a row and are three points ahead of Buffalo and Carolina.
will start in goal for the Blue Jackets.
“We haven’t played desperate hockey, but we should be,” Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog
said after the morning skate. “I mean, we’re out of a playoff spot. There’s no panic or anything like that, but you got to get back to winning hockey.
“You got to put yourself back in a position to be in the postseason. We got to stop the bleeding, and we have to do that tonight.”
The Avalanche have been outscored 14-4 in the losing streak and have lost 13 of the past 16 games (3-11-2), allowing three or more goals in 12 of them.
“We know we’re going to create offense, we know we’re going to create scoring chances, whether it’s on the power play or 5-on-5,” Landeskog said. “Our focus has got to be defensively and not giving up chances off the rush, making sure our D-zone coverage is what it needs to be, especially when you’re fragile like we are right now. Our team confidence isn’t the highest.
“You have to chip away, start at some point, and the foundation of our game is a defensive game and it just hasn’t been there the last few weeks. We really have to amp that up.”
The Avalanche won’t necessarily try to play a more conservative game, but they will need to be more conscious of doing whatever is necessary to eliminate the physical mistakes and mental errors that have led to so many scoring chances and made it even more difficult for the goalies, who already are struggling.
“When we don’t have the puck, guys away from the puck have to be there, and we haven’t been there as much as we’d like to,” Landeskog said. “We’re still going to make plays and break the puck out, make the plays that are there, but we have to be in good position and making sure if we lose the puck in the neutral zone, everyone gets back.
“We have to be tougher to play against. We can’t go out there and focus on scoring two goals in the first period. We can’t expect to win every game 5-4, 5-3 or whatever. We have to focus on keeping the puck out of our net and the rest will take care of itself.”
Coach Jared Bednar
said defenseman Conor Timmins
will head to Loveland and start skating and practicing with the AHL Colorado Eagles. Timmins, 20, has been recovering from the concussion he sustained last spring in the Ontario Hockey League playoffs. He was the Avalanche's second-round pick (No. 32) in the 2017 NHL draft.
Forward Tyson Jost
is heading back to the Eagles and could resume playing this weekend. He was receiving treatment in Denver for an upper-body injury he sustained last week while playing for the AHL team.
Gabriel Landeskog -- Nathan MacKinnon -- Mikko Rantanen
Matt Nieto – Carl Soderberg – Matt Calvert
Alexander Kerfoot – J.T. Compher – Colin Wilson
Sven Andrighetto – Sheldon Dries -- Gabriel Bourque
Ian Cole -- Erik Johnson
Nikita Zadorov -- Tyson Barrie
Patrik Nemeth -- Samuel Girard