With only one game remaining before the All-Star Break, the Colorado Avalanche find themselves facing a familiar foe; the Minnesota Wild. After leading the Northwest Division for the first two months of the season, the Wild suffered through a poor December stretch that brought them back to fighting for a playoff spot. January hasn't been much better for Minnesota, as their 2-5-1 record this month has them currently out of the postseason.
The Wild offense has struggled to score during this stretch. Their 112 goals ranks 28 in the league, and Dany Heatley is the only Minnesota player to tally more than two goals in the past 10 games. Devin Setoguchi was acquired from San Jose this offseason to give a boost to the club; his 17 points this season is a far cry from his production in a Sharks uniform.
Entering Tuesday's game, the Wild and Avalanche are separated by a mere point in the standings. A Colorado win would give them a three point buffer over their divisional foe entering the week-long break. A loss to the Wild would flip the two teams and place Minnesota back into that 8th seed in the Western Conference entering the break. Colorado has a very poor 2-9 record against Northwest division opponents this season. If they have any hope for a playoff berth, that number has to quickly turn around.
Jean-Sebastien Giguere will get his third straight start in net for Colorado, according to the Denver Post.
Puck drops at 7:00 p.m. MDT.
For more coverage, visit our Avalanche blog at Mile High Hockey and our Wild blog at Hockey Wilderness.