Tonight the Colorado Avalanche and Minnesota Wild will play their last matchup of the regular season. Thus far, the Avalanche have dominated the season series with five wins in seven games while outscoring Minnesota 28-17.
The Avalanche are the hottest team in the NHL right now, having taken a point from their last fifteen contests. This stretch of dominance finds Colorado atop the NHL league standings with 56 points. In those fifteen games, the Avalanche have outscored their opponents 67-28.
It’s hard to pick a specific performer that has caught my eye, but only because every player seems to be on his game. Sam Girard has been by far the most consistent performer of the season. He and Cale Makar should be considered frontrunners in the Norris Trophy conversation.
Gabriel Landeskog - Nathan MacKinnon - Mikko Rantanen
Brandon Saad - Nazem Kadri - Andre Burakovsky
Valeri Nichushkin - Tyson Jost - Joonas Donskoi
J.T. Compher - Pierre-Eduoard Bellemare - Liam O’Brien
Devon Toews - Sam Girard
Ryan Graves - Cale Makar
Kyle Burroughs - Jacob MacDonald
The Wild are a much-improved team from last season. The only hump they can’t seem to get over is beating the Colorado Avalanche. Only one of the Wild’s victories over the Avs came against Philipp Grubauer.
Although he’s much older more experienced than most rookies, Kirill Kaprisov is essentially a shoo-in for the Calder. His surge onto the scene has revitalized and rejuvenated the Wild fan base. He has posted fourteen goals and seventeen assists in thirty-eight appearances.
Kaprisov is (-7) against the Avalanche this year despite his successes otherwise. The Avalanche have held him to just four points in seven contests.
Jordan Greenway - Joel Eriksson Ek - Kirill Kaprisov
Zach Parise - Victor Rask - Kevin Fiala
Marcus Johansson - Ryan Hartman - Nick Bjugstad
Nico Sturm - Nick Bonino - Kyle Rau
Ryan Suter - Jared Spurgeon
Jonas Brodin - Mathew Dumba
Ian Cole - Carson Soucy
The Avalanche will go with the statistically best goaltender in the NHL, Philipp Grubauer. Grubauerr leads the NHL in both GAA at 1.83. He also has a top-three save percentage at .926. (Minimum 20 games) Most impressively, he has won in his last thirteen appearances.
Minnesota will likely start Cam Talbot in the net again this evening. Talbot comes in with a GAA of 2.41 and a .924 SV%.