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Colorado Avalanche Game Day: Grubauer and Kraken come to Ball Arena

Goaltender Philipp Grubauer and forward Joonas Donskoi return to Denver.

Philadelphia Flyers v Seattle Kraken Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

Tonight, the Seattle Kraken will face the Colorado Avalanche at Ball Arena for the first time in franchise history. In July of 2021, we saw former Avalanche netminder Philipp Gruabauer ink a six-year 35.4 million dollar contract with the league’s newest team in the Kraken. His return to Denver will undoubtedly be celebrated, and deservedly so. Grubauer is the 5th winningest goalie in Avalanche history and posted a .918 save percentage in Burgundy. Joonas Donskoi will also make his return to Ball Arena.

Colorado Avalanche

The Avs are coming into tonight’s contest as one of the hottest teams in the league. They are top 5 in terms of points percentage, securing 71% of the possible points through thirty-one games played. The Avalanche are undefeated in 2022 and look to extend their win streak to five games tonight. Colorado’s comeback/overtime victory this past Saturday over the Toronto Maple Leafs should serve as a boost to an already buzzing Avalanche squad.

Head Coach Jared Bednar is altering the Avalanche penalty kill unit in personnel and scheme, according to Jesse Montano of DNVR. These changes should come as no surprise considering the PK seems to be the only glaring weakness in Colorado’s approach.

The Avalanche will be without Captain Gabriel Landeskog, who has entered COVID protocol. Landeskog has five goals in his last five games and was named the NHL’s First Star of the Week. On the bright side, we may see the return of forward Valeri Nichushkin.


Andre Burakovsky - Nathan MacKinnon - Mikko Rantanen

Valeri Nichushkin - Nazem Kadri - Logan O’Connor

JT Compher - Alex Newhook - Nicolas Aube-Kubel

Kurtis MacDermid - Tyson Jost - Darren Helm


Devon Toews - Cale Makar

Bowen Byram - Samuel Girard

Erik Johnson - Ryan Murray


The Kraken have had the typical first go around for an expansion team. We haven’t seen the immediate success that the Vegas Golden Knights were fortunate enough to experience. Seattle can be found among the league’s bottom feeders, only accumulating twenty-four points through thirty-three contests.

Winger Jordan Eberle has been a bright spot in an otherwise dismal year. He leads the team in points with twenty-two and has amassed twelve goals this season.


Marcus Johansson - Jared McCann - Jordan Eberle

Calle Jarnkrok - Yanni Gourde - Colin Blackwell

Ryan Donato - Alex Wannberg - Joonas Donskoi

Morgan Geekie - Riley Sheahan - Mason Appleton


Mark Giordano - Jamie Oleksiak

Carson Soucy - Adam Larsson

Vince Dunn - William Borgen


Pavel Francouz will get his first start for Colorado since returning from injury. After being thrown into a 3-0 game against the Maple Leafs, he looked stout in the net. He even made a game-saving stop in OT that afforded the Avs a chance at securing the OT point.

Given Grubauer’s history with the Avalanche, the Kraken will likely start Philipp unless something unforeseen happens. Grubauer comes in with a .882 SV% and GAA of 3.3.