On Friday night, the Colorado Avalanche beat the Winnipeg Jets 3-2—which seems normal enough on the surface, but given the team’s struggles at home this season, it’s really much more significant than that. They will attempt to do the same to a visiting 9-6-0 Boston Bruins team, also playing the second night of a back-to-back, and climb back to .500 on the season.
The best news? Colorado is likely to miss Tuukka Rask, who has won nine out of his ten starts this season after holding the Arizona Coyotes to just one goal last night in Glendale. The bad news? That means they will be playing against a backup goalie, which pretty much means tonight will result in an improbably 40-plus save shutout loss. The perpetrator of this crime will be
Anton “Lavey” Khudobin Zane McIntyre, who has an .859 save percentage two starts this season—just a skosh below Rask’s .941.
Have mercy, Zane. These are but young men.
On offense, the Bruins are led by 28-year-old left wing Brad Marchand, who has five goals and 11 assists in the team’s first 15 games. After clearing chalkboard and doing some serious calculus, I’ve determined he is scoring at a rate of more than one point-per-game and this is very good. Right behind him is 20-year-old David Pastrnak, who already has ten goals on the young season. My analytical model has also determined this is good.
What of the Avalanche, you say?
Well, they will be doing without leading scorer Matt Duchene, who was punched in the face during Friday’s Jets game during the course of play by Jacob Trouba and sent to the locker room under the NHL’s concussion protocol. Subsequent reports do not expect him to miss much time, but he will sit out tonight’s game nonetheless.
Taking his place in the lineup will be one AJ Greer, who at this time last year was getting buried on the University of Boston Terriers before freeing himself to the QMJHL. The 19-year-old will now make his NHL debut after scoring 14 points in 13 games for the San Antonio Rampage, potentially ruining the prospect of the team earning two AHL Rookies of the Year in a row. Unlike fellow rookie Mikko Rantanen, Greer’s role is unlikely to be on the Top-6, but on a checking line minutes with fairly limited usage.
The Avalanche will also look to continue the utter possession domination they featured on Friday night versus Winnipeg. MHH regular Tempestuous Binary pointed out Colorado 84.62% shot differential in the second period, which is just otherworldly. Other friend of the site, ND_Avs, then stated the previous high for a period registered this season was 70%. Indeed, it was truly dominating hockey, even if it wasn’t entirely reflected in the score.
Go get ‘em, Avs.
(No clue what happens with the lineup, but here’s a calculated guess.)