It's been circled on the calendar since February 17th. Yet retribution may be the last thing on the minds of the Canucks tonight, as they head into Denver to face the slumping Avalanche.
The last time the two squads faced off, Captain Markus Naslund was left bleeding on the Pepsi Centre ice, the victim of a hit from Steve Moore. A hit that to this day continues to raise the blood pressure of Canuck player and fan alike. Seen by many as a dirty hit, the first few days after Naslund's injury were filled with calls of revenge at the next meeting. But a funny thing has happened since then, first off Naslund bounced back rather quickly, missing only three games from the incident. Next, the Avs went into a death spiral in the division seemingly unable to score goals let alone win games, that combined with a sudden spurt of energy by the Canucks, makes tonight's game a key one.
A Canuck victory would leap them ahead of the Avalanche in the standings and put a stamp on the Avs to ponder as the season winds down. Taking advantage of the struggling Avs might be the wisest strategy for the Canucks to follow, leave the retribution for some other time. The Avalanche look to be on the ropes at the moment, a solid thrashing on the scoreboard may be just what it takes to make them stumble further down the standings, causing GM Pierre Lacroix to question his players abilities days before the trade deadline.
Two teams heading in different directions, for the Canuck's tonight is a chance to keep the good vibe going. For the Avalanche, a loss will turn their dressing room upside down. One game, two different results possible.