Tonight the Colorado Avalanche will return to Ball Arena to face the San Jose Sharks. After splitting with both the Las Angeles Kings and the Anaheim Ducks, Colorado looks to improve their 3-3 start. The Sharks are also 3-3 after a solid win over the Minnesota Wild. In the victory, the Sharks saw five different goal scorers, including former Avalanche forward Matt Nieto.
The Avs have to be feeling a bit frustrated after their last outing against the Ducks. The Avalanche offense, with all of its firepower, was held to just one tally thanks to solid play from Ducks netminder Josh Gibson, and well, the posts. Colorado (specifically Cale Makar) got no love from the hockey gods on Sunday night, and there are metrics to prove that they are playing excellent hockey. Let’s hope it shows this evening.
The last time the Colorado Avalanche faced frustration was on opening night. They responded by chasing Jordan Binnington with an 8-0 victory over the St. Louis Blues. Expect the Avalanche to be buzzing out of the gate.
While Nazem Kadri was moved down to the “third line” last game, he ended the game with the most ice time of any forward outside the big-3. So really it was actually Brandon Saad and Andre Burakovsky who were moved down in the lineup.
With the way the Avs have been playing, this feels like the game where they start to fill the net.
Matt Calvert is out day to day. Kiefer Sherwood will be making his Avs debut in his place
Gabriel Landeskog - Nathan MacKinnon - Mikko Rantanen
Brandon Saad - Nazem Kadri - Andre Burakovsky
Tyson Jost - JT Compher - Valeri Nichushkin
Kiefer Sherwood - Pierre Edouard Bellemare - Joonas Donskoi
Devon Toews - Cale Makar
Bo Byram - Erik Johnson
Samuel Girard - Ryan Graves
Note: Colorado Avalanche rookie Bowen Byram was placed on the Taxi squad today. Don’t be alarmed. This move is purely for cap reasons as he’s shown some real promise in his three games with the club.
SAN JOSE SHARKS
San Jose has been on many experts’ radar as a team that could surprise people this season. They didn’t make too many moves in the offseason, but one of note was acquiring goaltender Devan Dubnyk from the Minnesota Wild in exchange for a fifth-round pick in 2022. We know Devan Dubnyk quite well here in the Rocky Mountains.
The Sharks aren’t an overly improved team on paper from last season. However, they grossly underperformed as individuals and as a team in 2019 and should be expected to improve.
Ryan Donato - Logan Couture - Kevin Labanc
Evander Kane - Tomas Hertl - John Leonard
Timo Meier - Dylan Gambrell - Noah Gregor
Marcus Sorensen - Patrick Marleau - Matt Nieto
Marc-Edouard Vlasic - Brent Burns
Mario Ferraro - Erik Karlsson
Nikolai Knyzhov - Radim Simek
The Colorado Avalanche will go with Philipp Grubauer in tonight’s contest. Grubauer comes in 3-2 with a 2.00 GAA with a save percentage of .923 and one shutout. Grubauer has looked solid so far this year, making the key saves when called on.
It’s unclear if the Sharks will start Devan Dubnyk or Martin Jones. Either way, they will be facing the most talented offense they have thus far. Both goalies have struggled mightily this season, allowing over three goals a game and saving under .900 percent of shots on goal.