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Avs Looking For More Scoring Chances Versus Jets

Colorado will be looking to score more "dirty" goals in front of the crease

Thursday, 12.12.2013 / 4:30 PM / News
By Ron Knabenbauer

The Avalanche players are well aware about the current state their offense is in.

Colorado is averaging 1.75 goals per game in its last four contests, which includes only one win in that stretch.

To get out of their funk and to get ready for tonight's game in Winnipeg (6 p.m. MT), the Avs worked on their shooting at Wednesday's practice and at today's morning skate session at MTS Centre. Two of the points the coaching staff has stressed with the players were the need to get more quality shots on goal and to create more scoring chances from rebounds by crashing the net.

"We had a good practice yesterday and we worked real hard this morning so we just have to get back to working hard and do the small things right," forward Jamie McGinn said. "Just getting a little dirty in front of the net and get those garbage goals."

The Avs will look to spend more time in front of the net in tonight's game in Winnipeg (Photo: Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images).

Defenseman Erik Johnson said the team might have been a bit too fancy with the puck in its recent games, and they just need to take shots when the opportunity is given.

"When you look across the league at how goals are scored, it's a lot of net-front crashing, getting pucks to the net," Johnson said. "I think we've tried to make the pretty play more than the simple play over the last few games."

Among the offensive drills the Avs have worked on over the past few days to get more chances were odd-man rushes and taking tough-angle shots.

The Avalanche (20-9-0) will hope its offense can come to life against a Jets team that has had its own offensive issues lately as well. Winnipeg has scored more than three goals only once in it last five games.

The Jets are 11th in the Western Conference at 14-14-4 (32 points) and are just one point ahead of the Nashville Predators, who sit in last place of the Central Division. However, Colorado is not taking this evening's game lightly.

Winnipeg had a strong start in its last meeting against Colorado on Oct. 27, taking a lead into the third period before the Avs rallied for a 3-2 victory.

"We put ourselves in a decent position [standings], and now it is about separating ourselves from other teams," Johnson said. "It's a tough division, a tough conference, and there's no easy games. That's the biggest thing for us. You can't take any games off. You can't take any teams lightly. We just got to get back to what made us successful before."

MORE MORNING NOTES

- Semyon Varlamov is expected to get the start in net for the Avalanche.

- Cody McLeod is from Binscarth, Manitoba.

- With a victory tonight, the Avalanche would equal their most wins through 30 games in franchise history (21 in 2000-01 and 1994-95).

- Brad Malone is expected to be Colorado's lone healthy scratch.

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