After a week exploring Finland, meeting fans, and trying some interesting food, the Colorado Avalanche recovered from a disappointing loss to the Islanders by storming to a 6-3 victory in their first of two back-to-back games in Tampere. It wasn’t without difficulty; the game was littered with penalties that felt unnecessary at times, but a strong performance from Mikko Rantanen in particular sealed their victory.
Cale Makar finally got a much-deserved first goal of the season, and his relief was clear. We’ve all been waiting for this moment, and he must have been feeling the pressure. If they can repeat that performance tonight, it will have been a great weekend for the Avalanche and all their fans. It seems like the team is loving the energy and change of scenery, so we’re hoping that along with the win gives them another boost today.
Evan Rodrigues (9) - Nathan MacKinnon (29) - Mikko Rantanen (96)
Artturi Lehkonen (62) - Alex Newhook (18) - Valeri Nichushkin (13)
Andrew Cogliano (11) - J.T. Compher (37) - Logan O’Connor (25)
Dryden Hunt (22) - Mikhail Maltsev (57) - Martin Kaut (61)
Devon Toews (7) - Cale Makar (8)
Bowen Byram (4) - Josh Manson (42)
Sam Girard (49) - Erik Johnson (6)
Note: Nichushkin again is a game-time decision. If he can’t go, expect Jacob MacDonald or Kurtis MacDermid to slot in.
The Blue Jackets have struggled all season and last night was no exception. They may feel encouraged by the three goals they were able to get through, but unless something goes seriously wrong with the Avalanche’s goaltending, and the Blue Jackets shore up their own defense, they’re going to find it difficult to maintain any lead. Colorado has to stay on top of things. Ultimately, the Blue Jackets will struggle to get through on their own, given their performance this season. But the Avalanche can’t afford to have a repeat performance of last night in respect of blowing a three-goal lead. Those situations are dangerous, and players like Patrik Laine will make the most of them.
Patrik Laine (13)- Jack Roslovic (96)- Johnny Gaudreau (29)
Gus Nyquist (14) - Boone Jenner (38)- Kent Johnson (91)
Yegor Chinakhkov (59) - Cole Sillinger (34) - Jake Voracek (93)
Eric Robinson (50) - Sean Kuraly (7) - Liam Foudy (19)
Zach Werenski (8) - Nick Blankenberg (77)
Vladislav Gavrikov (4) - Andrew Peeke (2)
Jake Bean (22) - Erik Gudbranson (44)
The starting goaltenders for both teams played last night. Perhaps it will be a repeat tonight, it should be Pavel Francouz and Joonas Korpisalo. It would be great to see Francouz getting a shot at the Global Series semi-close to home.