The Colorado Avalanche continue their four-game road trip with a showdown with the Buffalo Sabres at Key Bank Center in Buffalo, NY, for the first time this season. During last year's campaign, the Avalanche swept the season series.
The Avalanche suffered one of their worst defeats in recent history against the Winnipeg Jets. I'd bet the outcome didn't sit well with the room and expect them to come out flying against a seemingly inferior opponent in the Sabres. The Avalanche roster is incredibly thin right now, and it's bound to show every once and a while, but as long as a few of Colorado's superstars are on the ice, they have a chance.
There's a light at the end of the injury tunnel for Colorado, but it's still off in the distance. In the meantime, let's hope some of the young call-ups and signees make the most of their opportunity with the big club.
Artturi Lehkonen — Nathan MacKinnon — Mikko Rantanen
Andrew Cogliano — J.T. Compher — Logan O'Connor
Alex Galchenyuk — Alex Newhook — Jean-Luc Foudy
Dryden Hunt — Jayson Megna — Anton Blidh
Devon Toews — Cale Makar
Jacob MacDonald — Josh Manson
Samuel Girard — Erik Johnson
Note: Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog is rumored to have returned to the ice in Colorado. The timeline of his return has been relatively unconfirmed, but this is a step in the right direction.
The Sabres are the enigma of the league, as is the usual story. They started the season by winning seven of their first ten contests. Then followed that up by losing eight straight. On the bright side, Buffalo defeated the Red Wings in a shootout in their last game, ending that two-game losing streak.
Jeff Skinner — Tage Thomson — Alex Tuch
Jack Quinn — Dylan Cozens — John Jason Peterka
Vinnie Hinostroza — Casey Mittelstadt — Victor Olofsson
Zemgus Girgensons — Tyson Jost — Kyle Okposo
Mattias Samuelsson — Rasmus Dahlin
Owen Power — Henri Jokiharju
Casey Fitzgerald — Lawerence Pilut
Note: Tyson Jost faces his former club, the Avalanche, again, this time in a Sabres uniform.
Georgiev didn't play terribly against the Jets despite the scoring line. He did tend to give up some rebounds that I imagine he'd like to have back, but he has been solid for the Avalanche all season. If not Georgie, then Frankie, who we haven't seen since his 25-save loss to the Vancouver Canucks.
Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen is the unconfirmed starter for the Sabres. Luukkonen has three career starts all this season, allowing 3.95 goals a game.