After two more rounds of cuts this week, the Colorado Avalanche are down to a roster of 29. Tonight we will see a lineup that is getting close to the one we will see on opening night next week, as coach Bednar hopes to build some chemistry heading into the regular season.
The Avalanche have two more preseason games to shake off the rust that improve on the lackluster performance we’ve seen so far this September.
Tonight, the top line of Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen and Gabriel Landeskog will get some game action for the first time since the preseason opener ten days ago. We should expect to see them on Sunday as well as the big-3 look to get their legs and lungs in game shape.
The group of Barrie, Johnson, Zadorov, Girard, Cole and Barberio will suit up on the blueline in what could very well be a preview of the defense group we will see opening night.
In net, the goalies are going to split the remaining two games. We will see Philipp Grubauer play the whole game tonight with Valry going on Sunday.
In terms of roster battles, Sheldon Dries and Dominic Toninato get another chance to fight for a spot on the fourth line. They are likely still competing with Logan O’Connor (who we’ll likely see on Sunday) for one of the final roster spots.
Carl Soderberg and Sven Andrighetto are the only two regulars that seem to be missing from tonight’s lineup.
This is going to be the first preseason game that really matters for the Avs. With the vast majority of the opening night lineup playing, let’s hope we see a little more spark than we have over the past week.
The Wild are leaving Devan Dubnyk at home as well as some of their top guys like Ryan Suter, Erik Staal and Mikko Koivu.
Will we actually get to watch this game?
Tonight’s game will be broadcast on Altitude at 7pm MT.