The Colorado Avalanche are heading North where they will face-off against the Montreal Canadiens in the first meeting between the two teams.
Colorado has a pretty nice all-time record against the Canadiens at 16-7-3-0, so they’ll be looking to add another W in that column tonight.
The Avalanche have to take it to the injury riddled Canadiens right from the start. First periods have been Colorado’s worst enemy to start the season, time to correct that if they hope to turn this ship around.
If the last two games are anything to go by, this team is starting to play more consistent hockey, and tonight is another big opportunity to prove that.
I thought it was a real big effort last night in Boston, and it’s something that we’re hopefully going to build on here. We have to build on it. We have to finish this road trip off on a good note and finish off strong. – Jared Bednar
It’s Hockey Night in Canada against one of the NHL’s best teams for the Avalanche, what a great moment to show exactly how well they can play the game.
Colorado Avalanche at Montreal Canadiens
Bell Centre – 7 p.m. EST
Broadcast channels – TVAS, SN360, CITY, and ALT
2016-17 Season Series: First meeting of the season
Colorado Avalanche – 10-14-1 – 21 Points
Road Record: 6-6-0
Hot Players: Nathan MacKinnon, Matt Duchene, Mikko Rantanen
Key Injuries: Erik Johnson
Matt Duchene – John Mitchell – Mikko Rantanen
Rene Bourque – Nathan MacKinnon – Blake Comeau
Gabe Landeskog – Carl Soderberg – Mikhail Grigorenko
Andres Martinsen – Joe Colborne – Jarome Iginla
Nikita Zadorov – Tyson Barrie
Francois Beauchemin – Patrick Wiercioch
Fedor Tyutin – Cody Goloubef
Montreal Canadiens – 18-6-3 – 39 Points
Home Record: 13-1-1
Hot Players: Carey Price and Max Pacioretty
Key Injuries: Alex Galchenyuk, David Desharnais, Greg Pateryn
Max Pacioretty – Thomas Plekanec – Alexander Radulov
Paul Byron – Torrey Mitchell – Brendan Gallagher
Artturi Lehkonen – Philip Danault – Andrew Shaw
Sven Andrighetto – Brian Flynn – Daniel Carr
Alexei Emelin – Shea Weber
Andrei Markov – Jeff Petry
Nathan Beaulieu – Zach Redmond
[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]1)[/miptheme_dropcap] Colorado will get a massive boost, as Captain Gabe Landeskog, who hasn’t played a game since November 15, will make his return to the lineup.
[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]2)[/miptheme_dropcap] Tonight will be Iginla’s 1500th NHL game, a huge milestone, especially considering how hard Iginla has played the game throughout his amazing career. He will become the 16th player to ever do so, passing the great Mike Modano.
[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]3)[/miptheme_dropcap] Colorado has played better on the road thus far, and will look to continue the strong play they showed in Boston which snapped a very disappointing six-game losing streak.
[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]4)[/miptheme_dropcap] This is the first game of a back-to-back with Colorado traveling to Toronto right after tonight’s game to take on the young and exciting Maple Leafs Sunday evening.
[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]5)[/miptheme_dropcap] Faceoffs could be a key to victory for the team. The Avs are second in the league in faceoff win percentage at 53.8 percent, while Montreal is ranked 25th with a 48.4 win percentage.
The Avalanche have played some disastrous hockey at times this season, though they’ve also shown the complete opposite with very strong games, beating some of the leagues best. They’ve just been very inconsistent, fix that and they won’t have to deal with six-game losing streaks any longer.
Beating the Bruins in Boston is a step, no more. Tonight they must do it all over again and get some confidence building throughout this organization.
Sebastian Noble is currently in his third year with The Hockey Writers covering the Colorado Avalanche and Florida Panthers. Liverpool, England, and of course Colorado Avalanche & Florida Panthers supporter. You can follow him on Twitter @SebastianHNoble