Despite missing their most potent offensive weapon, the Avs proved they can put the score with six different players finding the back of the net in an offensive explosion that the team desperately needed. Mikko Rantanen and Gabriel Landeskog carried a big load while the return of Cale Makar added a boost to the back end. The Avs will need to continue the strong play tonight against a San Jose Sharks team that has been surprisingly good early this season.
Just as Devon Toews and Cale Makar make their way back into the lineup from injuries, the Avs blueline suffered another setback with Bowen Byram now set to miss some time. The 20-year old is having a tremendous rookie season but he will be out of the lineup for at least tonight and possibly longer.
As for the forward group, fellow rookie Alex Newhook looked good in his return on Thursday as will look to build on a strong game and cement his spot as a regular in the NHL lineup.
Landeskog - Compher - Rantanen
Nichushkin - Kadri - Burakovsky
Jost - Newhook - O’Connor
Helm - Megna - Sherwood
Toews - Makar
Murray - Girard
Johnson & Johnson
San Jose Sharks
Despite battling through a COVID outbreak, the San Jose Sharks have exceeded expectations early this season. Sitting two game above .500, the Sharks have been led by a couple veterans who have seen a return to form. Erik Karlsson and Brent Burns have found the fountain of youth as they have looked like true star defensemen while playing at a level many thought they weren’t capable of anymore.
Up front, the combination of established veterans like Timo Meier and Logan Couture with youngsters like Jonathan Dahlen has proven to be a great mix that has seen the team’s offense among the best in the Western Conference.
With a very light schedule through the first half of November, the Avalanche will be riding Darcy Kuemper once again tonight. He comes into the game with a 5-4 record and a .911 sv%.
For the Sharks, we are going to see Adin Hill who is working on a .904 sv% while he tries to hold on to the starter’s role over a resurgent James Reimer.