It’s time for the best game since the season began: we’ve got the best Colorado Avalanche jerseys ever making their season debut at The Can tonight.
Does it matter that we’re seeing the postseason rematch of the Avalanche and the Preds? Sure. Maybe. I guess.
Do these sick jerseys matter more?
Yes. Yes they do.
THE GAME RUNDOWN
The Avalanche have dropped two shocking games in their last two appearances.
They faced an incredibly poor Mike Smith and the Calgary Flames on November 1st, but blew it in the third period after decimating Smith early on. Then, the next night, they combined for 13 goals with the Vancouver Canucks — who have been surprisingly good early on, but still should be near the bottom of the league.
It’s possible that the Avalanche played down to their opponents in those last two games and should step it up against the much-trickier Predators tonight, but their continued lack of consistency remains a concern even after their bounce-back year last year.
Having only played two games in the past 11 days, the Avs should be well rested tonight. A good start is going to be crucial as they look to end their three game losing streak and pull back into second place in the Central Division.
Gabriel Landeskog - Nathan MacKinnon - Mikko Rantanen
Alexander Kerfoot - Vladislav Kamenev - Colin Wilson
Matt Nieto - Carl Soderberg - Matt Calvert
Marko Dano - Sheldon Dries - Gabriel Bourque
Samuel Girard - Erik Johnson
Ian Cole - Tyson Barrie
Patrik Nemeth - Nikita Zadorov
The Predators come in to Denver riding a three game winning streak and sitting on top of the Western Conference. Only the Arizona Coyotes have given up fewer goals against so far this season, but the Preds are yet to face a line with the fire power of Colorado’s big-3.
Viktor Arvidsson (IR) is among the participants in the Predators’ optional morning skate in Denver.— Adam Vingan (@AdamVingan) November 7, 2018
Filip Forsberg – Ryan Johansen – Ryan Hartman
Calle Jarnkrok – Kyle Turris – Craig Smith
Frederick Gaudreau – Nick Bonino – Kevin Fiala
Zac Rinaldo – Colton Sissons – Miikka Salomaki
Roman Josi – Ryan Ellis
Mattias Ekholm – P.K. Subban
Anthony Bitetto – Yannic Weber
The Avalanche have already confirmed that Semyon Varlamov will be starting, giving the team a chance to see ‘what could have been’ during the postseason this past spring had their number one been healthy.
It’s been a great start to the year so far for Varlamov, who is entering the last year of his deal with the team. He sits on a .936 save percentage in all situations, including three straight games with a .950 or better out of his last five appearances.
The only problem, of course, seems to be that the team doesn’t insulate him much. In those three stellar appearances, he only recorded one win, losing one of the games in regulation and one in overtime. That will need to change tonight.
Across the ice, Pekka Rinne is projected to start, bringing his own elite numbers. He has an almost mind-altering .948 save percentage in seven games so far, boasting two shutouts already.
Could he keep up that 23-shutout pace over a full 82-game season? I’m not thinking not, no. But does it mean he’s absolutely on his game right now? Pretty much — and even the elite top line may have trouble here.