Anton Blidh and Sampo Ranta are the latest to do the Loveland-Denver shuffle, as they were both recalled this morning by the Avalanche from the Colorado Eagles. Evan Rodrigues, who is still being evaluated following a lower-body injury last night against Vancouver, will not make the trip to Nashville for tomorrow’s afternoon game.
My sources say there is cautious optimism on Rodrigues, that this won’t be too serious. But keep that word cautious in mind.
The Avalanche will play at noon mountain against Matt Duchene and the Predators. Playing in Nashville around the holidays is something in itself of an Avalanche tradition. Whether Thanksgiving or Christmas, the Avs playing the Predators in Honky Tonk Town is just what happens.
This game has often been to the Predators’ benefit. In the Stanley Cup-winning season of 2000-01, the Avalanche played the day after Christmas in Nashville and flew in on the day of the game. The team had had a big team party the night before, on Christmas itself. With French-Canadians Patrick Roy, Ray Bourque, Alex Tanguay and Eric Messier, there were a lot of a specialty from back home – meat pies.
Let’s just say that there were a lot of meat pies – and a lot of other stuff – consumed at this party. The Avalanche played arguably their worst game of an otherwise championship season, losing 5-2 to a mediocre Preds team.
Bourque, who had a particularly bad day, told me later, “No more meat pies.”