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Colorado Avalanche Game Day: Heyyy Gritty ;)

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The Philadephia Flyers brought Calvin Pickard with them, but what about Gritty?!?! >:(

NHL: Philadelphia Flyers at Colorado Avalanche
Mar 28, 2018; Denver, CO, USA; Linesman Devin Berg (87) and linesman Kiel Murchison (79) break up Colorado Avalanche left wing Gabriel Landeskog (92) and Philadelphia Flyers right wing Wayne Simmonds (17) and defenseman Andrew MacDonald (47) and center Tyson Jost (17) after the game at the Pepsi Center.
Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Coming off their debut win of the season against those lame Minnesota Wild, the Colorado Avalanche look to keep the good times rolling against Social Media Influencer and Puppet King of the Internet Gritty and the Philadelphia Flyers.

After a commanding win over the Wild folk of Minnesota where the Avs dominated the possession and shots battle, and ultimately on the scoresheet. Semyon Varlamov didn’t have to work too hard in the win, but when he was asked to come up big, he did.

As a result of his strong play, Varly has earned the Saturday night start, meaning newly-acquired Philipp Grubauer gets the start on Tuesday when the Avalanche fly to Ohio to play the Columbus Blue Jackets.


The Avalanche

No one expected what we saw in game one against the Wild, not even Avs fans. The squad was dominate from puck drop to final horn; they held the puck and pushed for offense constantly, and they limited chances to shots from the perimeter or low-percentage opportunities from in tight. It almost felt relentless.

Looking at some stats, there wasn’t a single player on the Avs who was out-shot while they were on the ice in Thursday’s game. That’s pretty impressive stuff. The second line of Alex Kerfoot, Tyson Jost, and Colin Wilson were among the best lines in terms of limiting shots against. They may have done all that work in a sheltered role (only one defensive zone faceoff), but it was good to see them make the most of their opportunity.

Looking ahead, head coach Jared Bednar gave some of his players — Tyson Barrie and Patrik Nemeth are both supposedly dealing with little nagging things — a break from practice, but the lineup will remain the same as on Thursday.

Forwards

Gabriel Landeskog - Nathan MacKinnon - Mikko Rantanen

Alex Kerfoot - Tyson Jost - Colin Wilson

Matt Nieto - Carl Soderberg - Gabriel Bourque

Matt Calvert - J.T. Compher - Sheldon Dries

Defense

Sam Girard - Erik Johnson

Nikita Zadorov - Tyson Barrie

Ian Cole - Mark Barberio

UPDATE: Mark Barberio is in for Patrik Nemeth on the third pair.


Philadelphia Flyers

The Flyers are also coming off a season-opening win, this one a 5-2 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights on the road. Wayne Simmonds scored twice in the win and Brian Elliott stopped 23/25 shots in the win.

A lot of talk over the summer surrounding the Flyers was regarding the future of Simmonds. He’s 30-years-old and in the final season of his extremely team-friendly contract. With James van Reimsdyk —who plays a similar style — now with the team and wuth term, fans and media speculated whether Simmonds was on his way out. It looks like the Flyers are going to try and make this season work as is, and it looks like they have succeeded in the early goings.

Forwards

Claude Giroux - Sean Couturier - Travis Konecny

Oskar Lindblom - Nolan Patrick - Jakub Voracek

James van Riemsdyk - Mikhail Vorobyev - Wayne Simmonds

Scott Laughton - Jori Lehtera - Matt Raffl

Defense

Ivan Provorov - Shane Gostisbehere

Travis Sanheim - Radko Gudas

Robert Hagg - Andrew MacDonald


Starting Goalies

Bednar has confirmed that Varlamov will be starting tonight, with Philipp Grubauer backing him up, and starting on Tuesday. Varlamov stopped 19 of 20 shots against Minnesota, and looked very comfortable in the net.

Brian Elliott is the projected starter for Philadelphia, who have recently made some goaltending changes following the injury to Michael Neuvirth. Familiar face Calvin Pickard is now with the team after being claimed from the Toronto Maple Leafs. He will backup Elliott instead of Alex Stolarz, who was initially going to be the third goalie in the organization.

New York Rangers v Philadelphia Flyers
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - SEPTEMBER 27: The Philadelphia Flyers mascot Gritty skates between periods of the game against the New York Rangers at the Wells Fargo Center on September 27, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images