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Game Preview: Colorado Avalanche at Nashville Predators

In a world on the brink destruction, one man can ice hockey from being played in cowboy boots to Alan Jackson two-steps. Can he save us all?

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

A young man casually walks down a small-town street humming to himself. "Is that the new Adele song?" he thinks. "No, probably Taylor or Miley, but boy is it a nice day!" The sun was out, the birds chirped, and pretty girls sat on sidewalk benches and smiled as he walked by. He peers into a shop or two, not necessarily looking for anything, but it seemed like the natural thing to do in front of a beautiful storefront window. Just down the street he notices a phone booth. "A phone booth?" he wonders. "Isn't that what old people used to use to make phone calls?" He wonders if it actually works, so he opens the door and picks up the handset.

"Um, where's the touchscreen? Is there an app I need to open?" The young man thoroughly inspects the device, clumsily pressing non-existent buttons. "Geez, I bet you can't even play Angry Birds on this thing. What do you even DO with it?" He's just about to give up, when he hears a voice call the apparatus he was holding in his hand. "Ethan Hunt!, Ethan Hunt, is that you?" Ah, he realizes. You can talk into it!

"Uh, no...this is misterfish1. Can I help you?"

"Oh, Agent Fish! Thank god. A terrible plot to ruin the Avalanche-Predators game is unfolding in Nashville, Tennessee. A terrorist organization, known only as On The Forecheck, is threatening to ruin the rightful Avalanche victory, and they'll succeed unless you stop them! Underneath the payphone --"

"Wait, what's a payphone?"

"The thing you're talking into! Below the box part attached to the wall are two 100-level tickets. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to infiltrate the site, blend into the hideous yellow and white-clad crowd, and stop this unspeakable horror through a persistent display of beer drinking and screaming at the ice."

"But I'm no secret agent!"

"Agent Fish, we don't have time for your games. This is a matter of national security! Take those tickets and get down to Nashville. Afterward, you will report to Mile High Hockey and give a full report. Is that understood? Good. This device will self-destruct in 5, 4, 3, 2..."

"Ah!" screams the young man and he grabs the tickets and leaps from the exploding phone booth, tucking and rolling behind a parked car. Breathing heavily he looks down at the two tickets in his hand, and then up at all the people staring in the street.

He has to get out of here.

*  *  *

So, um, yeah...

Misterfish1 will be a first-hand correspondent for us tonight at the game. He's going to take over the Mile High Hockey twitter account and give us an idea what it's like to watch hockey in good ol' NashVegas. Sorry about the phone booth, chum!

Anyway, the Avalanche, reeling after another tough 3rd Period collapse, are back on the road. The past month has been nearly one long road trip, with just a few home games peppered in. Tonight, they're taking on division rival the Nashville Predators, who are sitting pretty at 15-9-5 -- good for third in the Central -- fresh off a 5-1 win against the Chicago Blackhawks. They are led in scoring by defenseman Roman Josi with 7 goals and 15 assists, which is 4th in the NHL among blueliners (FYI: 5 of the Preds' Top-10 scorers are defensemen). 28-year old right wing, James Neal, leads their forward group with 12 goals and 8 assists.

As far as the Avalanche go, it looks like captain Gabriel Landeskog may miss another game. He on the road trip with the team, but Mikhail Grigorenko got all of the 1st-line reps at practice yesterday and is in line to go. Resurgent Semyon Varlamov is slated to start in net after Wednesday's Reto Berra cameo. Varlamov had looked much like his old self after this season's most recent injury stint and the Avs will need him to continue if they are to have a chance at a good Nashville team.

Lines should go something like this:

*  *  *

Mikhail Grigorenko - Nathan Mackinnon - Matt Duchene

Alex Tanguay - John Mitchell - Jarome Iginla

Blake Comeau - Carl Soderberg - Andreas Martinsen

Cody McLeod - Chris Wagner - Jack Skille

*  *  *

Francois Beauchemin - Erik Johnson

Nick Holden - Tyson Barrie

Brandon Gormley - Nate Guenin

*  *  *

Semyon Varlamov

Reto Berra

*  *  *

It goes without saying, if the Avs want to make this season interesting, these are the games they have to win. Let's see if they can respond after Wednesday's nonsense.

Game starts at 6:00 PM MST. Should be back on Altitude locally. Go good guys.