The Colorado Avalanche are trying to hold it together after yet another one-goal defeat, this time to the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday night. It’s got to be tough on the team with all the close losses they’ve endured, but Colorado can turn their confidence around with just one solid victory.
We just need to get a win here and hopefully it starts rolling – Nathan MacKinnon
Tonight the Avalanche welcome the Florida Panthers to town, who are struggling almost as much as they are.
In net, it will be a battle between two great back-up goalies, Calvin Pickard and James Reimer. The Avs will continue to be without Semyon Varlamov who pulled his groin after his phenomenal effort against the Toronto Maple Leafs, while the Cats played last night in Winnipeg, ultimately losing in a shootout.
The Avalanche must come out strong and take it to a tired Panthers club, a dominant showing at home could do wonders, perhaps something like the 1996 Stanley Cup Finals, that’d be nice.
Colorado Avalanche vs Florida Panthers
Pepsi Center – 7 p.m. MT
Broadcast channels – ALT, FS-F
2016-17 Season Series: Second meeting of the season, Florida won 5 – 2 at home on October 22.
Colorado Avalanche – 11-16-1 – 23 Points
Home Record: 4-9-1
Hot Players: Nathan MacKinnon, Matt Duchene, Mikko Rantanen
Key Injuries: Erik Johnson, Semyon Varlamov, Joe Colborne
Mikhail Grigorenko – Matt Duchene – Mikko Rantanen
Gabe Landeskog – Nathan MacKinnon – Rene Bourque
Blake Comeau – John Mitchell – Jarome Iginla
Cody McLeod – Carl Soderberg – Andreas Martinsen
Nikita Zadorov – Tyson Barrie
Francois Beauchemin – Eric Gelinas
Fedor Tyutin – Patrick Wiercioch
Florida Panthers – 13-13-5 – 31 Points
Road Record: 5-8-5
Hot Players: Aleksander Barkov
Key Injuries: Jonathan Huberdeau, Jonathan Marchessault, Alex Petrovic
Seth Griffith – Aleksander Barkov – Jaromir Jagr
Colton Sceviour – Vincent Trocheck – Reilly Smith
Jussi Jokinen – Nick Bjugstad – Denis Malgin
Paul Thompson – Derek MacKenzie – Shawn Thornton
Mark Pysyk – Aaron Ekblad
Keith Yandle – Jason Demers
Michael Matheson – Dylan Mcllrath
1) Matt Duchene scored his first two home goals of the season last game against the Flyers, the rest of his goals have come on the road, perhaps he’s starting to break out in Denver.
2) Tonight will be Nathan MacKinnon versus Aleksander Barkov, the first two picks of the 2013 NHL draft. The two have had very similar scoring stats since being drafted, and will no doubt continue to be cornerstones for both organizations.
3) The legendary Jaromir Jagr is getting closer and closer to passing Mark Messier on the NHL’s all-time points list. The right-winger needs just three more points to surpass Messier and become second in league history, behind the great Wayne Gretzky.
4) The Avalanche have been less than happy about their play at home, and the same can be said about the Panthers’ road game. One team will have the opportunity to possibly change their fortunes moving forward.
Colorado simply cannot afford another dud, especially at home. It looks like they may be turning the corner, but I’ve said and thought that on more than one occasion this season.
Time for the Avalanche to get their butts in gear, or start shopping for new golf equipment much earlier than anyone would want to.