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Colorado Avalanche Gameday: Trying to tame the Wild

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The Avalanche head to Minnesota to start a four-game series against an old foe looking to get on top

Colorado Avalanche v Minnesota Wild Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images

The Avalanche: (5-3-0)

The Opponent: Minnesota Wild (5-3-0)

Puck Drop: 6:00 PM MT

Watch: ALT, FS-N, FS-WI

Listen: Altitude 92.5 FM, AM 950

The Avalanche travel to Minnesota to face the Wild in the season’s first four games between the two rivals. In this unusual 2021 season, this is sure to spark some fireworks seeing the same team four times over the next week. This four-game series will make it feel like a playoff atmosphere, each team wanting to get the better of the other in the series. Plus, with each team being so close in the division, every point is more important than ever in this series.

Colorado Avalanche

The Avalanche are coming off of a two-game sweep of the San Jose Sharks at home. However, this has left the squad short-handed, with new injuries to Matt Calvert and P.E. Bellemare, both who will be unavailable for the first game of the series at least. The Avalanche and Wild were even last season, going 2-2-0 in the four games they played one another, and were supposed to play a fifth match before the shutdown occurred.

The Avs will need replacements for Bellemare and Calvert for the short-term future. There have been adjustments to the taxi squad, with Bednar bringing in Logan O’Connor, Shane Bowers, Sheldon Dries, and Jacob MacDonald to join them on the road trip. Martin Kaut will be sent back down to the Eagles. Plus, there is still uncertainty of Devon Toews after blocking a shot on Thursday night.

Projected Lines:

Forwards

Gabriel Landeskog - Nathan MacKinnon - Mikko Rantanen

Brandon Saad - Nazem Kadri - Andre Burakovsky

Joonas Donskoi - J.T. Compher - Valeri Nichushkin

Tyson Jost - Logan O’Connor - Kiefer Sherwood

Defenders

Ryan Graves - Cale Makar

Smauel Girard - Conor Timmins

Bowen Byram - Erik Johnson

Goalies

Philipp Grubauer

Hunter Miska

Minnesota Wild

The Wild are coming off of a victory against the Los Angeles Kings 5-3. However, the Wild will be without one of their top forwards for the the first three games of the Avs-Wild series. Kevin Fiala was handed a three-game suspension after a scary hit on the Kings Matt Roy. He was kicked out of the game for the misconduct and has been handed the punishment by the NHL.

The Wild be missing a key piece going forward and will be looking to stay strong without a top-six forward. They’ve had to call up Gerald Mayhew from AHL affiliate Iowa Wild to fill his spot in the roster for now.

Projected Lines (From Hockey Wilderness)

Forwards

Marcus Johansson - Nick Bjugstad - Zach Parise

Marcus Foligno - Joel Eriksson Ek - Kirill Kaprizov

Victor Rask - Nico Sturm - Jordan Greenway

Gerald Mayhew - Nick Bonino - Ryan Hartman

Defenders

Ryan Suter - Jared Spurgeon

Jonas Brodin - Mathew Dumba

Carson Soucy - Ian Cole

Goalies

Kaapo Kähkönen

Cam Talbot

The Avalanche will be looking to get the best of the Wild in this four game series, and it all starts with a strong Game 1 performance. Let’s go Avs!