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Morning Flurries: Hockey is Back!

The Avalanche kick off their regular season campaign against the Flames

NHL: APR 19 Stanley Cup Playoffs First Round - Avalanche at Flames Photo by Brett Holmes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Colorado Avalanche Hockey is Back!

The Colorado Avalanche had one final day of practice at Pepsi Center yesterday and have announced their final roster. Ian Cole is the only one who will start the season on the injured list, as he is still recovering from off-season shoulder surgery.

They will take on the Calgary Flames in the first of four home games to start the season.

The excitement is picking up right where it left off in the playoffs with a pregame light show. Avs social media posted pictures of the light-up wrist bands on each seat, and have urged fans to be in their seats by 6:45, for the light show before the 7pm puck drop.

For those watching from home, the dispute with Altitude has yet to be resolved, and many viewers inside of NHL blackout zones could be left with no way to watch the game live. There are still a few more hours for a Mikko like deal to be pulled off.

Playoff Predictions

The NHL season can’t officially start until everyone announces who they think will win the Stanley Cup. MHH writers gave their take last week, but the rest of the hockey world weighed in recently. Vegas Insider has the Avs at 12/1 odds, with the Tampa Bay Bolts leading the way with 6/1 odds. USA Today has the Avs at +1200, also trailing the Bolts who received +650.

Colorado also makes several appearances in the NHL writers’ list of predicted playoff teams. The league has clearly identified them as a team to watch this season.

NHL is Global

NHL Public Relations released a breakdown of where each player on the opening day rosters is from. Of the 690 players, 20 countries are represented. Canada has the most players, leading the number of US born players by over 100. The US has 98 more players than Sweden, and Finland and Russia round out the top five. Seven countries, including Estonia and Kazakhstan each have one player representing them.

A detailed press release breaks down the demographics even further, including denoting that there are two players Zdeno Chara and Joe Thornton who played in the 1990’s, compared to four players who are 18, and 14 teenagers (led by Devils Jack Hughes who is 18 years and 141 days old).

Buckle up, the NHL season is underway, and won’t stop until June.

Opening Night

We have our first OT winner of the season and it came courtesy of Jakob Vrana as he catches Ryan O’Reilly flat footed.

He’s not a member of the Avalanche anymore, but Tyson Barrie had himself quite the game last night and it was topped off when he stole Sammy G’s signature move:

Earlier in the game, he was just plain mean to poor Drake Batherson: