Preview: Avalanche Welcome Cats to Colorado

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.

Calvin Pickard (Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports)
(Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports)

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

Projected lines:


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

Starting Goaltender

Calvin Pickard

Florida Panthers – 13-13-5 – 31 Points

Road Record: 5-8-5

Hot Players: Aleksander Barkov

Key Injuries: Jonathan Huberdeau, Jonathan Marchessault, Alex Petrovic

Projected lines:


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

Starting Goaltender

James Reimer

Game Notes

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]1)[/miptheme_dropcap] 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.

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]2)[/miptheme_dropcap] 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.

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]3)[/miptheme_dropcap] 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.

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]4)[/miptheme_dropcap] 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.

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

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.