If you feel like it's been forever since the Avalanche played, you aren't alone. With five days off, the Avs had plenty of time to let the sour end of their first road trip of the year sit in their mouths. The Avs allowed themselves to let turnovers take over the game last Saturday and fell 5-2 to the Panthers. But over the last five days the Avs have had time to rest, refocus, and for a couple of their players, recover.
With Ben Smith claimed by Toronto on waivers earlier this week, John Mitchell is set to retake his role as the fourth line center. The reason Ben Smith was placed on waivers, was to make room for Mikko Rantannen. The Finnish rookie is set to officially start his rookie season after being held to nine games last season to keep him from being exposed for the expansion draft this coming summer. Rantannen will not have to wait for his chance to play on the top line, however, as he is expected to play on Nathan MacKinnon's right wing against the Jets Friday night.
The Jets have a Finnish rookie of their own who is making quite a splash in his first several games. In a matchup against the Maple Leafs and number one pick Auston Matthews, the number two pick, Patrik Laine helped fuel a four goal comeback with a hat trick including the game winner in overtime. Laine's explosive skating and shooting has drawn comparisons to the future-hall-of-famer, Alex Ovechkin, and with six goals in his first seven games, he's off to a great start. We'll see how he matches up against a rested Avalanche squad on Friday night.
- The Avs have played the fewest games in the NHL.
- Rookies Patrik Laine and Auston Matthews are tied for the league lead in goals.
- The Avs will wear their third jerseys for the first time this season tonight.
Game time: 7pm MT