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Open Thread: Colorado Avalanche vs. New York Rangers (7:00 p.m.)

It’s a Colorado Avalanche gameday!

NHL: Colorado Avalanche at New York Rangers Tom Horak-USA TODAY Sports

The Colorado Avalanche’s terrible, horrible, no good very bad month continues as they are slated to suit up yet another preseason-style lineup against a good team, as they host the New York Rangers on Friday night.

Colorado Avalanche

The Avs are coming off a loss at home to the league-leading Boston Bruins where outside of some Aleksandar Georgiev heroics, their severely-depleted lineup was not close to being competitive. There is some good news on the horizon, however.

Jared Bednar said that it’s possible that Valeri Nichushkin and Darren Helm could return tonight, and Artturi Lehkonen was wearing a blue jersey at the morning skate today suggesting he is good to go and will play on the first power play unit. The moves to send both Sampo Ranta and Martin Kaut to the Colorado Eagles (Kaut must pass through waivers first) along with no corresponding move to bring a player up suggests that Colorado should get back at least one of its veterans tonight. Defenseman Brad Hunt will be recalled to play his first game in an Avalanche uniform and Jacob MacDonald will reportedly go back to playing forward.

That said, Helm was spotted wearing a non-contact sweater at practice this morning while Nichushkin was not seen on the ice, so it seems likely that only Lehkonen will return tonight.

Projected Lines

Alex Newhook (18) – Mikko Rantanen (96) – Artturi Lehkonen (62)

Andrew Cogliano (11) – J.T. Compher (37) – Logan O’Connor (25)

Dryden Hunt (22) – Ben Meyers (59) – Charles Hudon (54)

Jacob MacDonald (26) – Cal Burke (68) – Jean Luc-Foudy (93)

Cale Makar (8) – Devon Toews (7)

Erik Johnson (6) – Samuel Girard (49)

Andreas Englund (88) – Brad Hunt (17)

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