The losing streak for the Colorado Avalanche is up to six games and that’s just about enough, don’t you think?
Tonight marks the end of a four game home stand and with the team off until next Tuesday, it would be a fine time to get back into the win column - especially since their opponent tonight is an Eastern Conference team hat has been open about being in a full blown re-build.
The New York Rangers visit the Pepsi Center having won only five of their past 15 games and they will be giving Henrik Lundqvist the night off.
With a road trip to Canada on the horizon, this is one the Avalanche absolutely need to win.
Colorado’s offense finally broke out Wednesday night against the Sharks, but this time it was the defense and goaltending that let them down. Tyson Jost had his best offensive game of the season scoring twice and the bottom-9 forward finally looked ready to help out the big-3.
It wasn’t enough to overcome the five goals against, but it was a good sign.
Another good sign was the play of Pavel Francouz. The rookie netminder looked great in relief of Philipp Grubauer saving 14 of 15 shots he faces.
Colin Wilson has started skating with the team - though he’s still in a non-contact jersey - so his return could come sooner than expected.
**Update: Andrighetto in for Bourque
Gabriel Landeskog - Nathan MacKinnon - Mikko Rantanen
Tyson Jost - Alexander Kerfoot - J.T. Compher
Matt Nieto - Carl Soderberg - Matt Calvert
Sven Andrighetto - Sheldon Dries - Logan O’Connor
Samuel Girard - Erik Johnson
Ian Cole - Tyson Barrie
Patrik Nemeth - Ryan Graves
New York Rangers
At this point in the season, the New York Rangers are doing little more than showcasing their pending UFAs in order to maximize their vealue before the trade deadline. Kevin Hayes and Mats Zuccarello are certainly on their way out of town in the next six weeks, but it’s starting to sound like the Rangers will do a deeper tear down with guys like Chris Kreider and Vlad Namestnikov on the trade block.
While in the middle a rebuild, the Rangers have begun to lean heavily on their youngsters. Mika Zibanejab has led the way this season with 34 points in 39 games while 19-year old rookie Filip Chytiln has looked like he’s going to be a key piece of the team’s offense for the next decade.
On the back end, it’s been Neal Pionk that has been most impressive this season. The undrafted product of University of Minnesota-Duluth leads all rangers defenders with 19 points.
The Rangers are going to be going with the backup tonight as Alexandar Georgiev is going to get the start. It is only his 9th start of the season and he comes in with a less than impressive .898 sv%.
We will find out soon who will get the call for the Avalanche, but there is a strong possibility that Pavel Francouz gets his first NHL start tonight.
***Update: nope, it's going to be Grubauer again