Today the Colorado Avalanche host the Minnesota Wild at Ball Arena for some lunchtime rivalry action. Both teams look like playoff teams, and both are among the Central Divisions’ best in terms of standings.
The Avalanche are coming off their first shut-out of the season and are looking to extend their home winning streak to fourteen games. Colorado looks poised to separate from the rest of the division at the top of the standings, especially now that the lineup is a healthy one. They lead the division with fifty-one points in thirty-five games played. Colorado Also has three and four games in hand on the third and second-ranked teams, respectively.
Colorado currently leads the western conference in points, leads the NHL in scoring and comeback victories, and tied the franchise record for fewest games to fifty points with the win on Saturday. (35 games)
The Nazem Kadri hype train is full steam ahead as he left his mark again with a goal in the shut-out win against Arizona on Saturday.
He is all but a shoo-in for the NHL’s All-Star game in Las Vegas, but just in case, cast your vote here: https://www.nhl.com/all-star-ballot
Gabriel Landeskog - Nathan MacKinnon - Mikko Rantanen
Valeri Nichushkin - Nazem Kadri - Andre Burakovsky
JT Compher - Alex Newhook - Nicolas Aube-Kubel
Mikhail Maltsev - Tyson Jost - Logan O’Connor
Devon Toews - Cale Makar
Jack Johnson - Samuel Girard
Kurtis MacDermid - Erik Johnson
The Wild have had another good season so far in 2021-22 and find themselves among the top five point-getters in the Western Conference.
Kirill Kaprizov gave Wild fans a bit of a scare in the offseason by claiming he would return to Russia if specific terms weren’t met. Fortunately for Minnesota, the two sides were able to make a deal. Kaprisov takes Minnesota from playoff team to possible contender and is the type of player that Minnesota fans have never seen in green.
Kirill Kaprizov - Ryan Hartman - Mats Zuccarello
Matthew Boldy - Frederick Gaudreau - Kevin Fiala
Jordan Greenway - Victor Rask - Marcus Foligno
Connor Dewar - Nico Sturm - Brandon Duhaime
Jordie Benn - Mathew Dumba
Dmitry Kulikov - Alex Goligoski
Jon Merrill - Calen Addison
Neither starter has been confirmed for today’s matchup. However, it is assumed that the Avalanche will go with starter Darcy Kuemper. He is coming off his best performance and first shut-out for the Avalanche. Darcy looks to gain momentum and silence doubters heading into the playoffs.
The Wild will likely start Kaapo Kahkonen, who hasn’t allowed more than three goals in his last six starts. He has won four of his previous five starts and is 7-2-1 this season.