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Colorado Avalanche Game Day: the Avs are Hot

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The Florida Panthers look to be the fifth victim in a row of the Avs

NHL: Florida Panthers at Colorado Avalanche
Dec 14, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon (29) (right) celebrates his goal with teammates in the second period against the Florida Panthers at the Pepsi Center.
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Colorado Avalanche are on a roll. They’ve won four in a row and are clicking on all cylinders. The forwards are hot, the defense has played better but for the most part have been good, and Semyon Varlamov has fully turned it on.

This is the second game this season against the Florida Panthers, the Avalanche won the first matchup 5-2 in early December. Since then, a lot has gone wrong for the Avalanche, but now it looks like they’re fully on their way out.

The Panthers have had a season similar to Colorado this season. Sure, they’re 10 points out of the playoffs in the East while the Avalanche are only one point out, but their 62 points are only three back of the Avalanche’s 65. Depending on how the goaltending goes, this could be an even game, or a blowout.


Colorado Avalanche

Here are the lines from the last game. Hopefully after morning skate or warmups, we’ll see if there are any changes to the lines. An X-Factor could be the 1:00 pm trade deadline.

Forwards

Alexander Kerfoot - Nathan MacKinnon - Sven Andrighetto

J.T. Compher - Carl Söderberg - Mikko Rantanen

Gabriel Landeskog - Tyson Jost - Matt Calvert

A.J. Greer - Andrew Agozzino - Sheldon Dries

Defense

Samuel Girard - Erik Johnson

Ryan Graves - Tyson Barrie

Patrik Nemeth - Nikita Zadorov


Florida Panthers

I know a lot of players’ first and last names throughout the league. I can usually fill in a lineup list from Twitter with first names by myself. But when it comes to the Panthers, I gotta say that I know literally none of these people. Jayce is a name? Evgenii with two “i”’s? I didn’t know Franks still existed under the age of 50. I had no hope with the defense; Josh Brown’s gotta be a create-a-player, right?

Forwards

Jonathan Huberdeau - Alexander Barkov - Frank Vatrano

Jayce Hawryluk - Vincent Trocheck - Evgenii Dadonov

Mike Hoffman - Riley Sheahan - Denis Malgin

Derick Brassard - Henrik Borgstrom - Troy Brouwer

Defense

Keith Yandle - Aaron Ekblad

Mark Pysyk - MacKenzie Weegar

Ian McCoshen - Josh Brown


Starting Goalies

Semyon Varlamov will probably start for the Avalanche. Varly has a .958 sv% in his last five games for the club. His “worst” game was the 41 saves on 44 shots night against the Chicago Blackhawks where he stood on his head in order to keep his team ahead or tied all night.

On the other side, Roberto Luongo is getting really old and might be on his way to retirement. Jame Reimer has surpassed the all-timer in games played (34 to 31) and will probably get the start tonight. Reimer has a .901 sv% this season.