The Colorado Avalanche hosts the Winnipeg Jets at Ball Arena for the first time this season tonight. That could mean the Avalanche will dawn their fabled dark blue alternate sweaters. Winnipeg has just been defeated by another divisional foe, the Dallas Stars. Colorado is fresh off of an emotional road victory over the Minnesota Wild.
The Avalanche should be riding high after securing a road win over the Wild this early in the season. Colorado remains undefeated inside the Central Division and will take that unbeaten streak to three games against the Jets if they can secure the victory. Winning the division is always on the list of goals for this club when the season begins. So far, so good.
We may have seen goaltender Alexander Georgiev's best performance as an Avalanche in Monday’s win over the Wild. If Georgiev can succeed early this season, that could go a long way to developing his confidence as a number-one goalie moving forward. He made a flurry of saves that slammed the door on what began to look like a dangerous comeback opportunity push for Minnesota.
Georgieous!— 92.5 FM - Altitude Sports Radio Denver (@AltitudeSR) October 18, 2022
Alexandar Georgiev with not one, not two but THREE monster saves in the third for the Avs! Here's the call from @ConorMcGahey
Good guys win 6-3 in Minnesota@Avalanche | @AltitudeTV | #GoAvsGo | #MNWild pic.twitter.com/nV3OSqanH4
Colorado’s win over the Wild featured goals from six different players. That shows how deep this roster is, with captain Gabriel Landeskog out for 12 weeks recovering from surgery. We’ve seen in years past that Jared Bednar’s ability to get the group to buy into the process is what sets them apart when down a man or two.
It looks like Jared Bednar will be changing things up with the forward lines after Ben Meyers was re-assigned to the Colorado Eagles and Lukas Sedlak was sent to waivers. Martin Kaut, Anton Blidh, and Jayson Megna were called up as soon as this morning, so it will be a combination of the three playing tonight.
The forwards leaving the Avs, for now, is Ben Meyers (assigned to the Eagles) and Lukas Sedlak (on waivers). The Sedlak experiment didn't last long, and Meyers can't keep his spot despite scoring yesterday.— Mile High Hockey (@MileHighHockey) October 18, 2022
So who comes up from the Eagles? Kaut? Bowers? Megna? #GoAvsGo https://t.co/cQX6HFLjAe
Artturi Lehkonen — Nathan MacKinnon — Valeri Nichushkin
Evan Rodrigues — Mikko Rantanen — J.T. Compher
Logan O’Connor — Alex Newhook — Martin Kaut
Andrew Cogliano — Jayson Megna — Anton Blidh/Jacob MacDonald/Kurtis MacDermid
Devon Toews — Cale Makar
Samuel Girard — Josh Manson
Bowen Byram — Erik Johnson
Note: With Landeskog out long-term, Jared Bednar also mentioned that Darren Helm was recovering from his injuries slower than expected while being interviewed by Moser, Lombardi & Kane on Altitude Sports Radio.
The Jets are a tough team to pin down. On the one hand, they have a talented roster and a top-tier goaltender in Connor Hellebuyck. Conversely, that talent seems unwilling to perform when the stakes are high in years past.
Young Cole Perfetti will see the most NHL time he has so far in his career this season and hopes to break out as a true top-six forward alongside Blake Wheeler and Pierre-Luc Dubois. He is yet to make a mark on the score sheet in the Jet's first two contests.
Kyle Connor — Mark Scheifele — Nikolaj Ehlers
Cole Perfetti — Pierre-Luc Dubois — Blake Wheeler
Morgan Barron — Adam Lowry — Mason Appleton
Saku Maenalanen — David Gustafsson — Sam Gagner
Josh Morrissey — Dylan Demelo
Brenden Dillon — Neal Pionk
Logan Stanley — Nate Schmidt
If you ask me, Alexandar Georgiev has earned himself back-to-back starts, so I’d assume it’s his net again tonight. I imagine that the more success Georgiev has, the more he will get consistent starts. Pavel Francouz seems incredibly comfortable and excels in his role as a backup, and I don’t see a sense in disrupting that. Numbers are looking good for Alexandar Georgiev through two starts posting a 2.51 GAA and .911 SV%.
The Avalanche will often face their opposition's best tender night in and night out. That should mean Connor Hellebuyck is in the net for the Jets tonight. Winnipeg's fifth-round draft in 2012 has turned into quite a keeper and has looked good this season, with a 2.50 GAA and a .929 SV%.