Coming off a miserable five-game road-trip through Canada where the team was only able to glean two of a possible 10 points. Now, the Avs come home for a five-game homestand, the longest on the calendar.
Not only will the Avs be home for five games, but with the Bye Week starting next weekend, the team will be able to be home for about three full weeks. This season, the Avs are 9-6-5 at home, a losing record. Hopefully they can juice their numbers back up to something positive in these next three weeks. Last season in afternoon games, the Avs went 5-1-1. Hopefully that continues into this year.
On Thursday, Tyson Jost was sent to the AHL after a trying NHL campaign saw him slowly lose icetime and chances with the coach. On Friday, Jost played his first game for the Colorado Eagles. In a 7-3 Eagles victory over the Tuscon Roadrunners, Jost put up no points, no penalty minutes, and one shot.
Looking at his numbers a little more deeply, Jost played as the 1C on the team with Martin Kaut and A.J. Greer on his wings. Kaut had one assist and three shots, while Greer scored once on three shots of his own. In total, Jost was on the ice for one goal for and one against.
The numbers on the surface may look disappointing, but looking more deeply, Jost’s line generated seven shots and a goal with him playing at center. It’s certainly something he can build on.
Gabriel Landeskog - Nathan MacKinnon - Mikko Rantanen
Colin Wilson - Carl Soderberg - J.T. Compher
Matt Calvert - Alexander Kerfoot - Sven Andrighetto
Gabriel Bourque - Sheldon Dries - Matt Nieto
Samuel Girard - Erik Johnson
Ian Cole - Tyson Barrie
Nikita Zadorov - Mark Barberio
Los Angeles Kings
The Kings are coming in with a three-game point streak (2-0-1) on the line. It’s a small streak, but I guess baby steps are necessary for the Kings, who sit 30th in the league and just ahead of the Chicago Blackhawks, a place they have known quite well this season.
On paper, the Kings would’ve been a force to reckon with in 2013. Kovalchuk on the third line and Phaneuf on the third pair! Such depth! Now, they’re just a slow, overpaid team.
It will be the third and final game between Colorado and Los Angeles this year. The Avs are 1-0-1 against the Kings so far this campaign, winning the first matchup 7-3 on Nov. 21 at Staples Center and losing the second one, by a 3-2 score in overtime on New Year’s Eve in the Mile High City.
“I think we got to use our speed, that is always the case in every game, but especially against a team like the Kings,” Gabriel Landeskog said of the matchup. “They are a big, heavy team and have a lot of experience, but when we play with our speed and play a north game then I think we will be fine and we saw that in the first game in L.A.”
Carl Hagelin - Anze Kopitar - Dustin Brown
Alex Iafallo - Jeff Carter - Brendan Leipsic
Ilya Kovalchuk - Adrian Kempe - Tyler Toffoli
Kyle Clifford - Nate Thompson - Austin Wagner
Derek Forbort - Drew Doughty
Jake Muzzin - Alec Martinez
Dion Phaneuf - Sean Walker
Semyon Varlamov and Jonathan Quick will be the goalie matchup tonight. Philipp Grubauer and Jack Campbell will be the two most overdressed spectators in attendance.
It’s been a trying season for Colorado’s goaltending. Varlamov has a league average .906 save percentage this season, and he’s been the better goalie between himself and Grubauer. In his last five starts (including the New Year’s Eve game against LA) Varly is 1-3-1 with a .858 SV%.
On the other side, Jon Quick has been pretty much just as mediocre as Varlamov. In 22 games this season, Quick has a .907 SV%. However, in his last five games, Quick has posted a 917 SV% and a 2-2-1 record. That record improves if you include the NYE Avs game that he won.