Game 74 Preview: Sharks at Avalanche (AFTERNOON GAME WARNING)

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Put on the foil, boys. There are tickets to be punched.

Here's what you need to know.

Colorado have 98 points and a shit load more ROW than anyone that matters except St Louis and Anaheim. With a point today, the Avalanche clinch a playoffs spot, and with a win today, they clinch 7th. Remember the last time they were in the postseason? This may take some brain power. You may need to eat or take a nap to muster up the strength. It was against San Jose.

How fitting then that the Avs have a chance to put themselves back into the postseason for the first time since these Sharks knocked them out of it, and in a playoffs-style game, because I mean San Jose are trying to keep ahead of the Ducks, wouldn't you rather play MIN/DAL/PHX than Los Angeles?

But Avs it has been too fucking long since we've taken another go at Mission 16W. Let's get that ticket bought today.

Stuff, Things

John Mitchell is bizarrely going to play today, after missing 4 games with Having Been Bent In Half Like A Lawn Chair. That will likely keep Paul Carey out of the lineup. Roy expects Erik Johnson to be over his plague, so what remains to be seen is which defenseman will sit. We can probably expect Mitchell to slot back in with the forechecking third line between Talbot and McLeod, which will put Cliche back into a 4th line role where he can be more effective.

Despite that McGinn didn't skate at practice yesterday because he blocked a shot with his foot or something so if he ends up seeing his time limited at all to keep the foot fresh, these lines will go full Rorschach.

Forward lines:

Jamie McGinn - Matt Duchene - Ryan O'Reilly
Gabriel Landeskog - Paul Stastny - Nathan MacKinnon
Cody McLeod - John Mitchell - Max Talbot
Patrick Bordeleau - Marc-Andre Cliche - Brad Malone

D:

Erik Johnson will play with Jan Hejda. Tyson Barrie and Nick Holden will play, possibly with each other, who knows. Ryan WIlson has been a pressbox denizen for weeks now, so the decision will be between Cory Sarich, Andre Benoit, and Nate Guenin.

Semyon Varlamov gets the start today and probably the rest of the way.

Motivational Viewing

Nothing of value is lost if you mute this.

so yeah. A cheer for San Jose is a cheer for irritating, ineffective bum biting. Why would you cheer for that?

TV - AFTERNOON GAME WARNING

1:00pm Mountain start for this one. 3:00 Eastern, 19:00 GMT. It's on Altitude, CSN California, and RDS2 for some reason.

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