Originally written on Stars of Big D  |  Last updated 11/5/14

DETROIT - JANUARY 29: Steve Ott #29 of the Dallas Stars skates against Jiri Hudler #26 of the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena on January 29, 2009 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Dave Sandford/Getty Images)

Colorado Avalanche (7-5-0, 14 pts) @ Dallas Stars (8-3-0, 16 pts)

7:30 PM, November 4, 2011

American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas

The Stars finally get back onto the ice tonight after a six-day break, taking on the Colorado Avalanche. The Avs are one of the more suprising teams in the league so far this year as they have gotten out to a 7-5-0 record and are second place in their division, just behind the even more surprising Edmonton Oilers.

Colorado is coming off a 4-1 loss to the Phoenix Coyotes at home despite outshooting the Yotes by a 40-28 margin. Phoenix plays a very similar game to Dallas so the Stars could be facing a shot deficit in this game as well.

Considering how Colorado has done at home this year, the 4-1 loss actually isn't a surprise. The Avs are a league worst 1-4-0 on home ice and a league best 6-1-0 when they are on the road. Colorado's prowess on the road is actually quite scary. Colorado leads the NHL in road goals, scoring 24 goals in seven games on the road. That's one better than the Tampa Bay Lightning, but the TB has played one extra game. No other team in the league has more than 20 road goals.

 

They are also tied for the league lead in power-play goals on the road with eight and they have the second best power-play in the NHL. This team can put the puck into the back of the net (at least when they are not on home ice). The good thing for Dallas is that the Avs do give up a lot of goals and they aren't a very good penalty-killing team (19th in the NHL).

The teams Colorado have faced on the road aren't exactly slouches either. Among the teams they have beat: Boston (while they aren't exactly doing well, they are the Stanley Cup champions), Toronto (2nd in the NHL in points, their only home loss this season was to the Avs), Ottawa (right behind Toronto in their division, the Avs demolished the Senators 7-1) and the Chicago Blackhawks (2nd place in the Western Conference). The Avs have been facing quality opponents away from home and putting up impressive numbers.

Colorado boasts an impressive squad of youngsters. While most Stars fans will know who Matt Duchene is, it's actually the other Avs young guys that have stepped up to the plate this year. 2nd year center Ryan O'Reilly leads the team in points (9) and assists (7). Rookie sensation Gabriel Landeskog has a point in three of the Avs last four games and is 5th among all NHL rookies this year in points (though he is tied for second in goals, he doesn't get a lot of assists). Defenseman Erik Johnson has six assists on the powerplay, two behind the league leader.

Colorado's starting goaltender is Semyon Varlamov, who isn't having that great of a season. His GAA (2.51) and save percentage (.920) are near the bottom of the league among starters. He's allowed at least three goals in six of his nine starts this season. If Dallas can get shots onto Varlamov, they should be able to score.

Injuries

The only injury that Dallas has to worry about is Steve Ott (hip). He's out for the game. Nick Grossman was cut in the face by a skate in the last game and received 60 stitches, but isn't expected to miss any time. He'll be the guy on the ice wearing a full cage.

Colorado is missing winger Peter Mueller (head) and he's out for this game.

Notes

  • Both Colorado and Dallas have had some trouble on the PK lately. Colorado has allowed a PP goal in four of their last five games. Dallas has allowed a PP goal in five of their last seven. With how good the Avs PP is, it is crucial that Dallas stays out of trouble during this game (I'm looking at you Sheldon Souray).
  • With the Ott injury, the lines have been changed up among the forwards and some interesting trios have been formed. First line is now Eriksson-Benn-Ryder, which has the potential to really be dynamic. Ryder needs to get get going and if Benn and Eriksson can't do it, no one on this team can. Second line is now Morrow-Ribeiro-Burish. This combo was on the ice during the closing moments of the last Phoenix Coyotes game and Burish tied it up with a minute left. The last two lines are the usual trios, Nystrom-Fiddler-Dvorak on the third line and Wandell-Dowell-Peterson on the fourth.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

WATCH: Masai Ujiri fires up Raptors fans with expletive

Andre Johnson: Signing with Colts not about revenge

Pete Rose joining FOX as baseball analyst

Josh Hamilton filed for divorce around time of relapse

Isaiah Thomas once peed himself to avoid subbing out

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: ESPN employees want Britt McHenry fired

WATCH: Raptors fans shower Paul Pierce with vulgar taunts

Report: Vikings want first-rounder, starting CB for Peterson

Report: Jarret Stoll arrested for possession of drugs

CJ Wilson: Josh Hamilton’s relapse a ‘tame scenario’

Head coaching candidates for the Denver Nuggets

Sabres GM not happy about losing draft lottery

Yordano Ventura ejected for plunking Brett Lawrie

Five early takeaways from the 2015 MLB season

WATCH: Female Cubs fan catches foul ball in beer cup, chugs it

WATCH: Cardale Jones throws ball 74 yards during contest

Shaka Smart was quite popular at the Texas spring game

Ohio State sets spring game attendance record

WATCH: Bubba Watson raps on Christian rap track

WATCH: Jags mascot wins closest to pin at Sawgrass

Notre Dame wears 'Father Ted' patches during spring game

Five things to watch during the NBA Playoffs

Hanley Ramirez put hole in Green Monster during BP

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Josh Hamilton filed for divorce from wife

Report: McHenry's coworkers want her fired

WATCH: Raptors fans taunt Paul Pierce

Five things to watch in NBA Playoffs

Report: Jarret Stoll busted for drugs

CJ Wilson: Hamilton is 'ready to go'

Leaked Clippers jersey redesigns

Tequila Patron Sports Car Showcase preview

Home runs ruined our ability to appreciate production

Why we love the NFL draft

The "worst" player on each NBA playoff team

Jim Harbaugh showed up at Ultimate Frisbee practice

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.