Opponents: Anaheim Ducks (26-32-8)
Where: Pepsi Center
Puck drop: 7:30 p.m. MT
Listen: Altitude 92.5, AM 950
Today, the Colorado Avalanche will be hosting Pride Night at Pepsi Center as part of the league’s Hockey Is For Everyone initiative and You Can Play program. The game will be broadcast on NBCSN as part of Wednesday Night Rivalry Night.
The elephant in the room with regards to this night is the criticism the Avalanche have gotten with respect to their emphasis on straight allies in their press release and posts on social media, failing to include the LGBTQ fans themselves in their well-meaning gesture.
There is a post on our SB Nation sister site Out Sports that outlines this story. It highlights how this social media strategy fell short and was viewed by the fanbase as exclusionary and self-congratulating. They also received a statement from the team that is worth reading.
“On its own, it’s a well-meaning gesture. But the Avalanche’s failure to also include any kind of acknowledgement of LGBTQ fans themselves is a choice, to uplift only self-identified allies’ voices, one that was called out across social media as a mistake. Fans from the LGBTQ community reacted broadly with disappointment at the general sense that this messaging implied that hockey fan culture had the space to center straight allies’s voices, but not those of LGBTQ-identified fans themselves.” [Out Sports]
The article also shone light on the Carolina Hurricanes, whom the Avalanche played on their Pride Night, and how they have been far-and-away the gold standard in this league. And it is a standard we all need to hold our favorite teams accountable to if they are serious about inclusivity.
I hope we can keep this in our minds tonight.
In terms of injuries, the Avs have a long list. Cale Makar missed Monday’s game and did not practice with the main group today, he’s listed as day-to-day. Andre Burakovsky is also day-to-day. Matt Calvert has a lower-body injury. Colin Wilson is still rehabbing off the ice after having two surgeries earlier in the season.
In some good news, Philipp Grubauer, Nazem Kadri, and Mikko Rantanen all skated together before regular practice this morning in no-contact jerseys. Mike Chambers seems to believe he could be back tonight, but the team is saying not to expect Mikko back until mid-March. So another week and a bit.
#Avs skills coach Shawn Allard in his Bane voice to Nazem Kadri and Mikko Rantanen: “I was wondering what would break first: Your spirit! Or your body!”— Ryan S. Clark (@ryan_s_clark) March 4, 2020
Philipp Grubauer is in the back like, “Uh, both?” pic.twitter.com/4m9VF96r3X
The Ducks played last night, losing to Chicago 6-2 on the road. So they’re on the heels of a bad loss, but are on the second half of a back-to-back with travel. We’ll see how this game goes. Lines from last night are below.
Nathan MacKinnon - Gabriel Landeskog - Vladislav Namestnikov
Matt Nieto - J.T. Compher - Joonas Donskoi
Valeri Nichushkin - Tyson Jost - Martin Kaut
Logan O’Connor - Pierre-Edouard Bellemare - Vladislav Kamenev
Ryan Graves - Samuel Girard
Ian Cole - Erik Johnson
Nikita Zadorov - Mark Barberio
Pavel Francouz - confirmed starter
Sonny Milano - Ryan Getzlaf - Danton Heinen
Rickard Rakell - Adam Henrique - Jakob Silfverberg
Max Jones - Sam Steel - Kiefer Sherwood
Nicolas Deslauriers - David Backes - Carter Rowney
Brendan Guhle - Josh Manson
Jacob Larsson - Michael Del Zotto
Christian Djoos - Matt Irwin
Ryan Miller - projected starter