The Avs and Wild face off once again this season, back in the Central after being in the Honda West Division last year. While only a preseason match on Thursday, these two always have some sort of tension when they play.
The Avs are coming off their first preseason game in a loss in Vegas 4-3. Despite the result, they won the shootout at the end of the game 2-1 thanks to goals from Oskar Olausson and Shane Bowers.
The Avs did really well in the game with their AHL lineup against a lot of the NHL regulars of the Golden Knights. It gives fans a good look at the future of the Avs, and they should be very excited. Olausson was excellent, despite only being 18 years old. Don’t be surprised if Olausson performs well in the OHL and gets a call up to the AHL or ECHL towards the end of the season.
Pavel Francouz will be looking to continue to get back in his rhythm. Despite giving up a few goals in Vegas, he will look to build up his strength and continue his comeback after double hip surgery last season.
With a few reassignments, there will probably some more familiar faces in the lineup for this game.
Forwards: Gabriel Landeskog, Dylan Sikaru, Nazem Kadri, JT Compher, Sampo Ranta, Alex Newhook, Mikhal Maltsev, Oskar Olausson, Martin Kaut, Andreas Wingeri, Kiefer Sherwood, Tyson Jost
Defense: Sam Girard, Erik Johnson, Jack Johnson, Kurtis MacDermid, Dennis Gilbert, Jacob MacDonald
Goalies: Darcy Kuemper, Justus Annunen
The Wild are coming off their own preseason loss away to the Blues on Saturday 6-2. The Blues exploded for four goals in the third to pull away from the Wild in the end.
Adam Beckman scored the two goals on the Wild on the night, and included two assists from Will Bitten. The Wild similarly kept out their bigger names that night too. Andrew Hammond, now a Wild player, gave up three goals on 21 shots that his team ultimately couldn’t recover from.
The Wild will be looking to rebound after their collapse against the Blues and there is no better opponent to come up against than a big division rival.