Friday night hockey is almost here! The Colorado Avalanche are coming off a disappointing overtime loss at home to the Winnipeg Jets where they came out flat and could not generate enough offense from lines not centered by Nathan Mackinnon. Seattle is another team that the Avalanche should beat on paper, but as the early season lineup shuffle is demonstrating, these aren’t the same Avalanche who beat Tampa Bay in six games earlier this year. The lineup is in flux, as Devon Toews will miss to injury, and bring in Kurtis MacDermid along with Dryden Hunt making his Avalanche debut.
It’s not as bad as that Jets game made it feel at times, as the Avalanche are still in good shape as the offense is clicking and the power play remains lethal. They just need to clean up the defensive coverage and get better on the forecheck and we’ll start seeing the glimpses of greatness we’re so used to.
Valeri Nichushkin is taking note of everyone who said his new contract was too expensive. He’s second in the NHL in goals with five and tied with Nathan Mackinnon for 3rd in points with eight.
Colorado is just rolling through some normal early-season turbulence as it weathers injuries and an uncertain bottom six that in all likelihood come April will have at least one veteran on it who is currently not on the roster. Gabriel Landeskog is out for twelve weeks, and that is a reasonable period of time for Avs fans to cut this team some slack. We won’t see the best version of the Avalanche until next year.
Artturi Lehkonen—Nathan MacKinnon—Mikko Rantanen
Valeri Nichushkin—J.T. Compher—Martin Kaut
Andrew Cogliano—Alex Newhook—Evan Rodrigues
Dryden Hunt—Jayson Megna—Logan O’Connor
Bowen Byram—Cale Makar
Sam Girard—Josh Manson
Kurtis MacDermid—Erik Johnson