Bloody, broken, and bruised would best describe the eventual outcome from a 6-2 victory for the Avalanche over the Coyotes 4 days ago.
Tyson Barrie blocked a shot with his hand in the first period and is out 4-6 weeks.
Sam Girard was sucker-punched by one of the most irrelevant hockey players in today’s NHL.
Both Erik Johnson and Nathan MacKinnon dropped the mitts and the club responded in a big way.
“Things happen on the ice and guys stick up for one another,” Landeskog said. “All of sudden, we find ourselves in position to take control of the game and that’s what we did.”
After all was said and done the Avalanche are only likely to see Barrie miss time with injury.
The Coyotes will be without Zac Rinaldo, who has a phone hearing this morning about his cheap-shot on Girard, and former Av Brad Richardson, who was hurt in the 2nd period last Saturday.
The Arizona Coyotes (8-25-5) sit in the bottom of the NHL this year with 21 points. At this point last season, the Avalanche had 25 points (12-20-1) but only won 10 more games for the remainder of the season. The Yotes will likely finish better than the Avalanche did last year but it’s reassuring to fans that there might be worst teams than last years catastrophe.
After much backlash recently, the secondary scoring the Avalanche finally showed up last game. Carl Soderberg potted 2 goals and the Avalanche had 4 different goal scorers not named MacKinnon, Landeskog or Rantanen.
Even with the scoring success the Avalanche had last game, Coach Bednar has decided to change up the lines a bit. One big change is moving J.T. Compher to left wing with Alexander Kerfoot and Nail Yakupov. That line should provide some decent opportunities on the rush.
Tyson Jost will take over center duties between Sven Andrighetto and Colin Wilson. This will be the first time this season that line has been put together by the coaching staff and it will be interesting to see how it shakes out. Wilson has really turned it on lately while Jost continues to find his confidence playing at the NHL level at 19 years old.
Special teams has seen an improvement over the past couple of weeks. The Avalanche have killed off 23 of the last 23 penalties. On home ice this year the Avalanche are 2nd in the league at killing off penalties posting a 92.6 PK%.
With Tyson Barrie sidelined, the Avalanche will go back with 6 defencemen.
Mark Barberio is likely to take Barrie’s spot alongside Patrik Nemeth. He’s been welcomed back into the circle of trust for Coach B playing about 20 minutes a game.
Big Z and EJ look to be back together again on the first D pairing which means Sam Girard and Anton Lindholm will round out the defensive blue line.
The Coyotes will have to make a few adjustments to their lineup from Saturday’s game.
Zac Rinaldo will most likely be sitting at least a couple of games for his antics and Brad Richardson is out with a UBI.
Clayton Keller continues to keep his name in the running for the Calder. He currently has 29 points and 13 goals through 38 games this year and sits 3rd among rookies in scoring.
Another rookie, Christian Fischer, is starting to heat up for the Yotes as well. A 2015 2nd round pick for the Coyotes has really found chemistry with Keller and those 2 seem to be the future the fans and upper management have been waiting for.
Oliver Ekman-Larsson continues to lead a rather flat defensive corp for the Coyotes. OEL has had his name thrown in the trade mill as of late. With only 1 year remaining on his contract, it is likely he won’t be with Arizona after that expires and the Yotes would be better off trying getting something for him this year or next.
The future of Arizona’s blue line lies in Jakob Chychrun. A 1st round pick in the 2016 trade, Chychrun has the size and skill to be a dominate defencemen in the NHL. He’s only played in 9 games this year due to a knee injury he sustained last year which required surgery.
Varlamov will tend the crease tonight for Colorado. He’s been great lately winning the last 4 of 6 and is even better at home. At the Pepsi Center this year he has a 7-2-1 record and holds a 2.58 GAA and .924 SV%. He stopped 34 of 36 the last time he faced Arizona.
No word out of Arizona camp who starts for the Coyotes tonight. Antti Raanta has gotten the majority of starts lately and is listed first on the Arizona goaltender depth chart. He was pulled in Saturday’s contest vs the Avs and it wouldn’t come as a surprise if we see Scott Wedgewood get the start. Neither goaltender has been great this year for Arizona posting a 2.92 and 3.02 GAA, respectively.
How to Watch/Listen
Puck drop is set for 7pm MST and the game can be seen on both Altitude 2 and Fox Sports - Arizona.
You can also listen to the game with our friend Marc Moser on Altitude Sports Radio 950AM.