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Colorado Avalanche Game Day: Matinee Madness

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The Avalanche look to manhandle the Wild once again tonight

NHL: Minnesota Wild at Colorado Avalanche Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Colorado Avalanche: 18-8-2
Minnesota Wild: 18-9-1
Puck Drop: 1:00 p.m. MT
Watch: NHL Network ,Altitude, FS-N,
Listen: Altitude 92.5, AM 950

On their off day, the Avalanche tried to address their need for a backup goalie by agreeing to a trade for Buffalo Sabres netminder Jonas Johansson. Unfortunately, that deal has been put on hold while the Sabres work through the league’s COVID protocol. Nothing can be finalized until test results come in - and even there, there’s a chance the teams wait and work on another resolution further down the road.

For now, the Avalanche will be back on the ice with Philipp Grubauer in net. The veteran has been outstanding this season while he works behind an Avalanche team that has done their best to limit his work load every night.

The team is nearing full health for the first time all season and will look to build on their dominant 5-1 victory over the Wild on Thursday night.

Colorado Avalanche

With Cale Makar and Bo Byram back in the lineup, the Avalanche looked like an absolute juggernaut against the Wild Thursday night. The boost in team speed was noticeable as the Avs dominated every minute of the game.

Before Thursday night, Coach Bednar mentioned that J.T. Compher would only be out for one more game which means he could get back into the lineup this afternoon. That said, with the way the Avs performed in their last game, it’s hard to imagine any tinkering being done to the lineup. With no game-day skate, we won’t know whether or not JTC draws back in until the pre-game warmup.

UPDATE: Compher is in for LOC

Projected Lines

Forwards

Gabriel Landeskog – Nathan MacKinnon – Mikko Rantanen
Andre Burakovsky – Nazem Kadri – Brandon Saad
Valeri Nichushkin – Tyson Jost – Joonas Donskoi
Matt Calvert – Pierre-Edouard Bellemare – Compher

Defense

Devon Toews – Cale Makar
Jacob MacDonald – Samuel Girard
Bowen Byram – Ryan Graves

Goaltenders

Philipp Grubauer - Starter
Adam Werner

Minnesota Wild

We should expect a little push back from the Wild this afternoon. After being thoroughly manhandled int he last matchup, Minnesota is going to need a big response if they want to be taken seriously as a contender in the West Division.

Victor Rask had the loan goal for the Wild on Thursday while defenseman Jonas Brodin led the team with four shots on net- no Minnesota Wild forward registered more than two.

If not for Cam Talbot, the Wild could have been down by four or five goals before the end of the first period. Today it’s rookie Kappo Kahkonen who will be looking for a little more help than Talbot got on Thursday.

Matt Dumbs ia expected to be out of the lineup after he went into the board awkwardly and left the last game with an apparent leg injury.

Projected Lines

Forwards

Kirill Kaprizov – Victor Rask – Mats Zuccarello
Jordan Greenway – Ryan Hartman – Kevin Fiala
Zach Parise – Joel Eriksson-Ek – Nick Bjugstad
Nico Sturm – Nick Bonino – Luke Johnson

Defense

Ryan Suter – Jared Spurgeon
Jonas Brodin – Ian Cole
Brad Hunt- Dakota Mermis

Goaltenders

Kappo Kahkonen - Starter
Cam Talbot