The Colorado Avalanche play in their third back-to-back in three weeks to open this season, this final one being against the New York Islanders. Saturday night on Long Island in the new UBS Arena in Belmont, New York, will bring these two teams together for what we’ll hope to be a good one.
While early on in the season, the Avs and Isles have both won and lost four games this year. The Isles and Avs had been mentioned all summer long together in headlines, mostly in the race for Nazem Kadri. While neither team won the race for him, they’ll look to one-up the other on the ice.
The Avs are coming off a disappointing 1-0 loss to the New Jersey Devils less than 24 hours ago. Colorado wasn’t the worst, but they really didn’t play well to keep up with the Devils. They were one step behind, and the Avs need to be better and more competitive tonight.
Of course, the Avalanche is missing several key names in their lineup. Gabriel Landeskog and Darren Helm remain out since the beginning of the year. Another name is injured, this being star-winger Valeri Nichushkin.
With Nichushkin out, his loss was noticeable in the defeat yesterday. Depth was also not present and needs to be better. Will Martin Kaut be able to fill those big shoes alongside Alex Newhook? They didn’t last night, but they get another shot tonight.
Artturi Lehkonen (62) - Nathan MacKinnon (29) - Mikko Rantanen (96)
Evan Rodrigues (9) - Alex Newhook (18) - Martin Kaut (61)
Andrew Cogliano (11) - J.T. Compher (37) - Logan O’Connor (25)
Jacob MacDonald (26) - Mikhail Maltsev (57) - Dryden Hunt (22)
Devon Toews (7) - Cale Makar (8)
Bowen Byram (4) - Josh Manson (42)
Sam Girard (49) - Erik Johnson (6)
New York Islanders
The Isles are coming off a back-to-back themselves. However, they had a different result than the Avs did. They went into Raleigh and beat the Carolina Hurricanes in convincing fashion 6-2.
Lou Lamoriello and his team saw little to no turnover from last year. Despite missing the playoffs and suffering tons of injuries, there is hope that they can make a return to the postseason with the same team they had.
Tonight, they get a good test against the Stanley Cup champions to see where they stand. Their newly-extended star Mat Barzal will look to lead the line and give the Avs a second straight loss.
Josh Bailey (12) - Mat Barzal (13) - Oliver Wahlstrom (26)
Anders Lee (27) - Brock Nelson (29) - Anthony Beauviller (18)
Zach Parise (11) - Jean-Gabriel Pageau (44) - Kyle Palmeri (21)
Matt Martin (17) - Casey Cizikas (53) - Cal Clutterbuck (15)
With both teams coming off back-to-backs, we’ll see the fresh netminders who didn’t play last night get the starts tonight. This includes Alexandar Georgiev for the Avalanche and Semyon Varlamov for the Islanders.