Avalanche Vs. Penguins: Colorado Hopes To Continue Eastern Conference Dominance

Colorado puts their 5-0 record against Eastern Conference teams to the test as they visit the East-leading Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Colorado Avalanche had mixed results last week. After a poor showing against the Detroit Red Wings earlier in the week, they were redeemed with a three goal overtime comeback against the New York Islanders. Unfortunately, a four goal comeback against the Calgary Flames fell just short as the Avalanche fell to 0-3 against their division rivals (and 0-4 in the Northwest Division).

There is one group of teams that Colorado has had great success against this season; Eastern Conference teams. The Avalanche have a combined 5-0 record against teams from the other conference, and they hope to continue that trend in a nationally televised game against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Penguins have played without their captain Sidney Crosby since last February, but you couldn't tell from the current standings. They sit tied atop the Eastern Conference with a 10-4-3 record. Last season's trade acquisition James Neal has been incredible, with a team-leading 11 goals and 17 points. Evgeni Malkin has made some progress from his gruesome knee injury, chipping in 11 points in 10 games. This team is well-rounded, plays excellent defense, and has a goalie that is making a leap towards elite status this season.

Marc-Andre Fleury has been sensational this year. He has started 12 games, has a 9-2-1 record, and a 1.87 GAA. Simply brilliant, and the biggest reason the Penguins are right back atop the Stanley Cup contender list without the services of Crosby.

For the Avalanche, they must start off quickly in this game to have a chance. In three games last week, they faced deficits of 3-0, 3-0, and 4-0. That cannot happen for a team with playoff aspirations. After that rough week, prized trade acquisition Semyon Varlamov has fallen flat. He now has a .897 SV% on the season.

Newly anointed captain Milan Hejduk will take the ice for the first time wearing a "C" on his jersey. Avalanche fans everywhere hope that he can lead Colorado back on the winning track after a rough couple of weeks.

Puck drops at 5:30 p.m. MDT. The game will be nationally broadcast on Versus.

For more coverage, visit our Avalanche blog Mile High Hockey or our Penguins blog Pensburgh.

Trending Discussions

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SB Nation Denver

You must be a member of SB Nation Denver to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation Denver. You should read them.

Join SB Nation Denver

You must be a member of SB Nation Denver to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation Denver. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.