The final preseason game for the Colorado Avalanche is tonight and they’ll see the Dallas Stars for the second time in 72 hours. For the Avs, Monday night’s 3-1 win was the first time in the preseason we had seen a more usual Avs lineup. And luckily tonight for us, it will be on national TV on TNT!
Cale Makar and Devon Toews saw their first action of the season as a defensive pairing, while forwards Mikko Rantanen and Artturi Lehkonen were able to connect on ice for the first time as well. It’s not the only planned return to the ice for preseason either.
According to media at morning skate, Nathan MacKinnon looks to be in the side for the first time since Game 6 against the Tampa Bay Lightning that won them the Cup. He was working on the first power play unit and is ready to be out on home ice to wrap up the preseason.
Jared Bednar said that it will be a mostly veteran line-up tonight against the Stars as the Avs look for their third win in the preseason. Expect to see a more usual lineup for the Avs, but it won’t be the same tempo or style as a regular season game.
Nathan MacKinnon and Valeri Nichushkin are skating in top PP colors, so it appears they'll make their preseason debuts. J.T. Compher and Darren Helm are in red non-contact jerseys.— Peter Baugh (@Peter_Baugh) October 5, 2022
# Avs Jared Bednar recap:— Aarif Deen (@runwriteAarif) October 4, 2022
- MacDonald being re-evaluated, will miss some time
- #Avs last cuts coming THU/FRI
- Veteran lineup at Ball Arena tomorrow
This is due to there still being a battle to fill some roster spots for Opening Night. Gabriel Landeskog and Darren Helm will for sure be out a week from tonight, and Valeri Nichushkin’s availability remains to be seen. So who comes in?
The battle has heated up between Ben Meyers, Martin Kaut, Lukas Sedlak, Shane Bowers, Anton Blidh, and Mikhail Maltsev. Meyers arguably has a foot-up as he’s eyeing a third-line spot compared to the others looking to fill the fourth-line gap left behind by Helm.
Bednar’s final round of cuts will come after tonight’s game against the Stars. It’s now or never for those guys fighting for the roster spot, and tonight’s performance will determine who suits up against the Chicago Blackhawks a week from today.
As of the publishing of this piece, there is no word on who the Avs will officially have on ice for tonight’s game. Meanwhile, Dallas brings a mix of veterans and rookies to the Mile High City with their roster released earlier this morning.