The Colorado Avalanche broke their five-game losing streak last time out against the Edmonton Oilers, but tonight they face a much tougher task in the Boston Bruins. The Avs are clinging to the final Wild Card spot solely because they’ve played fewer games than Edmonton and Anaheim.
Boston is coming off a perfect weekend at home against the Toronto Maple Leafs and Vegas Golden Knights. They out-scored their opponents 9-1 in those two games and are starting to heat up following a slow start to the season by their standards.
Tonight, the best line in hockey will face the most dominant possession line in hockey. Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen, and Gabe Landeskog vs. Patrice Bergeron, David Pastrnak, and Brad Marchand. Who wouldn’t want to watch that!
Sven Andrighetto is on the mend and back practicing with the team. He was seen at Tuesday morning practice in a no-contact jersey. Head coach Jared Bednar is hopeful he’ll get his speedy winger back by the weekend; if not Friday against Washington or in Anaheim on Sunday. Here’s the full quote via NHL.com:
“He is skating now, he skated [with a] non-contact jersey, so they are ramping him up. Hopefully everything continues to go well over the next few days,” head coach Jared Bednar said of Andrighetto after the session. “He won’t play tomorrow, doubtful for Friday. Then, hopefully, if everything goes well, he will be on the road with us and might be an option for us.”
Also per NHL.com, J.T. Compher was not with the main group but skated on his own. He’s still recovering from a head injury.
Unfortunately, the Avs are still a one-line team. As Tom brought up in his scoring efficiency article, Alex Kerfoot has turned into a very good second-line center, but his wingers just haven’t quite been able to keep up. Big ‘ol Carl has also played really well despite his tough deployment. I think what Tom is trying to get at is that the Avs need another top-end winger.
Gabriel Landeskog - Nathan MacKinnon - Mikko Rantanen
Tyson Jost - Alexander Kerfoot - Colin Wilson
Matt Nieto - Carl Soderberg - Matt Calvert
Sheldon Dries - Vladislav Kamenev - Marko Dano
Samuel Girard - Erik Johnson
Ian Cole - Tyson Barrie
Patrik Nemeth - Nikita Zadorov
The Bruins have called up 21-year-old defenseman Jakub Zboril for tonight’s game and presumably for the next three games in their road trip. The 2015 first-round pick passionatly described as “Young Z” will make his NHL debut tonight against the Avs on the third pair. Zboril was drafted three picks behind Mikko Rantanen in the famous “Oh shit,” draft.
Oh shit, Boston could get Barzal, Connor, and Kylington here— Rhys Jessop (@Thats_Offside) June 27, 2015
Let’s see what the kid’s got!
Pastrnak leads the NHL in goals so far this season with 16, including four in his last two games. He and Bergeron share the team lead in power play points with 10 through 17 games. In other words, stay out of the box, Colorado!
Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - David Pastrnak
Joakim Nordstrom - David Krejci - Jake DeBrusk
Danton Heinen - Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson - Anders Bjork
Chris Wagner - Sean Kuraly - David Backes
Zdeno Chara - Matt Grzelcyk
Torey Krug - John Moore
Jakub Zboril - Steven Kampfer
Semyon Varlamov has been confirmed as the starter for Colorado tonight. Varly has been posting an incredible .929 save percentage despite only having a 5-5-2 record to show for it. There isn’t much question as to whether he’s the starter at this point.
On the other side of the ice, Jaroslav Halak will get the start for the Bruins. He’s taken on the duties of starting goalie in the absence of Tuukka Rask, who has returned to the team as of Tuesday following a leave of absence to be with his family. You can read his whole quote in an article over at NHL.com. We don’t know what Rask was dealing with, and frankly, we won’t ask.
“First and foremost, I want to thank all the people who sent messages and contacted me and supported me,” said Rask, who was granted a leave of absence last Friday. “Second of all, I want to thank the Boston Bruins for giving me the opportunity to take time off with my family. I’ve never been more proud to be a part of this family, the Boston Bruins…we talk about it a lot, this is a family, we are a family, and we take care of each other when times are tough.”