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Game 1: Sharks at Avalanche, Preview and Open Thread

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San Jose Sharks
8pm MT / 10pm ET
Colorado Avalanche
0-0-0 October 1, 2009 0-0-0
Pepsi Center
Denver, CO

Well, here we are again. A meer 172 days since last season came to an unglorious end and we're right back at it. The reset button has been pressed, and we're right back on even footing with all the other NHL teams. It's been kind of a wild and crazy summer in Avalanche land. We have a new coach and GM (neither of who were the first choice for the position). We've lost a few star players (Super Joe and Ryan Smyth) and more than a few character guys (Lappy, Ben Guite, Cody McCormick). We've gained a potential new star on defense (Kyle Quincey) and what we hope to be a pretty solid goaltender (Craig Anderson), but we're going to have to see them in action before passing judgement.

How good (or bad) are the Avalanche going to be? We're about to find out, as we welcome the reigning President's Trophy winning San Jose Sharks to the Pepsi Center. The Sharks were a tremendous team during the regular season, but flamed out in the playoffs amid whispers that the team doesn't have enough mental toughness to succeed when it counts. To rectify this, the Sharks brought in a notorious quitter in Dany Heatley. I'm not sure that's going to do anything in the leadership department, but that douchebag sure can play hockey. The thought of him and Joe Thornton playing together is just damn scary. You can take a peek at the Sharks' offseason changes over at Fear The Fin (one change not listed there is the recent naming of Rob Blake as Sharks' captain).

For the Avs tonight, Dater has the projected lines up for tonight's game on his blog. Matt Duchene will make his NHL debut, and possibly Radar O'Reilly as well. It will be the Avalanche debut of Craig Anderson, Kyle Quincey and, if he dresses, David Koci. Anderson will be starter for the Avs. I'm presuming Evgeni Nabokov for the Sharks.

The game is broadcast exclusively on Versus which means DirecTV users are out of luck. However, if you check out the comments section of this thread you'll find a lot of, uh, alternate sources to view the game on. If anyone has any working links, please share them below. Go Avs!

Related Links:

Avaholics Anonymous Preview

Avs Talk Preview

Fear the Fin Preview

TSN Preview

SBN Game Page