Tonight, the Colorado Avalanche take on the Anaheim Ducks and are looking to come out strong on home ice after their mandatory five-day bye period. The Ducks are playing solid hockey, so Colorado really must be careful with their start in the first, that’s been one of their major problems. We’ll see early on if the long break helps or hurts them.
The Avalanche aren’t a last-place team, but that is where they currently sit, and where they will stay if their play doesn’t improve immediately. The previous game against the New York Islanders was a start in the right direction, as they finally snapped a 10 game home losing streak. That simply cannot happen anymore, to state the obvious.
There’s been a lot of rumors going around about Colorado possibly trading a core piece of their team, and the best way to stop those rumors is to start winning hockey games. Step one, duck hunting!
Colorado Avalanche vs Anaheim Ducks
Pepsi Center – 7 p.m. MT
Broadcast channels – ALT 2, PRIME
2016-17 Season Series: first meeting of the season.
Colorado Avalanche – 13-25-1 – 27 Points
Home Record: 5-13-1
Hot Players: Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen, Tyson Barrie
Key Injuries: Erik Johnson
Gabe Landeskog – Nathan MacKinnon – Mikko Rantanen
Matt Nieto – Matt Duchene – Rene Bourque
Blake Comeau – Carl Soderberg – Jarome Iginla
Cody McLeod – Mikhail Grigorenko – Andreas Martinsen
Fedor Tyutin – Tyson Barrie
Nikita Zadorov – Patrick Wiercioch
Francois Beauchemin – Cody Goloubef
Anaheim Ducks – 22-13-8 – 52 Points
Road Record: 8-8-6
Hot Players: Ryan Kesler, Jakob Silfverberg
Key Injuries: Simon Despres, Clayton Stoner, Nate Thompson
Andrew Cogliano – Ryan Kesler – Jakob Silfverberg
Rickard Rakell – Ryan Getzlaf – Corey Perry
Nick Ritchie – Antoine Vermette – Ondrej Kase
Joseph Cramarossa – Logan Shaw – Jared Boll
Cam Fowler – Sami Vatanen
Hampus Lindholm – Josh Manson
Shea Theodore – Kevin Bieksa
1) This will be a game which features two of the very best teams in winning face-offs. The Ducks are 1st in the NHL with a 55.5% record in the dot, while the Avalanche sit 3rd at 53.1%.
2) Tonight will be Jarome Iginla’s 1,514th game, which will tie him with Steve Yzerman for 15th overall. It will also be Blake Comeau’s 600th NHL game.
3) Anaheim are hoping to have their Captain Ryan Getzlaf back in the lineup tonight. He had missed the last four games due to a lower-back injury.
4) The Avalanche also get a key player back in goaltender Semyon Varlamov, who had been struggling with groin issues for quite some time.
Lately when these two teams have played each other, it’s been a very physical match up. Look for that to continue and let’s hope it can spark the Avalanche to victory.