Well, it's finally going to happen. After two years of waiting, the O'Reilly brothers will face off on NHL ice for the first time. In Ryan's rookie season, older brother Cal was playing for Nashville's affiliate in the AHL for each of the two times the Avalanche and Predators met. The following season, Cal suffered a season-ending injury shortly before the teams were set to play one another. With Cal's recent trade to the Phoenix Coyotes, O'Reilly vs. O'Reilly is happening sooner than expected this season.
The brothers often battle it out during the off-season as they spend the summers training together. But this is going to be different. Family ties will be set aside as each player will hold the brotherhood of the locker room above blood once the puck drops.
The Avalanche take on the Coyotes in what is the last of a three game home stand for the burgundy and blue. After a disappointing loss to Edmonton on Friday, the Avs bounced back with a huge win against the Kings on Sunday. Of course, the Coyotes are also coming off a big win, a 3-2 OT victory against those very same Kings.
Both teams are heading into tonight with some days off since their last games: Colorado with two days and Phoenix with three. The teams are sure to be stressing a quick start, pulling from their respective victories against LA as motivation.
[EDIT: Joe here. Bumped to top of the page]
[EDIT 2: Joe again. Looks like the brother matchup may not happen after all. Cal O'Reilly is listed as day-to-day with an apparent groin pull.]
[EDIT 3: According to the Avalanche, the bros did face off in the NHL once before: Feb. 4, 2010. Apparently, I am not paying attention.]