The Colorado Avalanche and Los Angeles Kings will face-off at the newly dubbed Crypto.com Arena one last time before the regular season’s end tonight. Colorado beat the Kings 4-1 in late January and has dominated the California squads this season, posting a perfect 5-0 record. The Kings have surprised the Pacific division and sit second just behind the Calgary Flames with seventy-four points.
Yesterday, Colorado made the first ripple in the trade market pool, acquiring Josh Manson from the Anaheim Ducks for Drew Helleson and a 2023 second-round draft selection. The Avalanche will welcome the thirty-year-old defenseman with open arms as Samuel Girard seems destined for LTIR status. Manson is essentially the antithesis of Samuel Girard, bringing size, grit, and physicality to the back end. Our own Casey Cheatum gives a more in-depth analysis of this trade here: Avalanche acquire Josh Manson from Anaheim Ducks
Josh Manson will make his #Avs debut tonight, per a source. There’s no morning skate, so his first time on the ice with the team will be pregame warmups.— Peter Baugh (@Peter_Baugh) March 15, 2022
We were all surprised to hear that Avalanche Captain Gabriel Landeskog will be out for some time due to a knee injury a subsequent surgery. If both he and Girard end up on LTIR, the Avalanche will have enough cap space to be far from done at the trade deadline. It would only make sense that they target a centerman with leadership qualities to supplement the loss of Landeskog.
Valeri Nichushkin - Nathan MacKinnon - Mikko Rantanen
Alex Newhook - Nazem Kadri - Andre Burakovsky
Tyson Jost - JT Compher - Logan O’Connor
Kurtis MacDermid - Darren Helm - Nicolas Aube-Kubel
Devon Toews - Cale Makar
Josh Manson - Erik Johnson
Jack Johnson - Ryan Murray
LOS ANGELES KINGS
The Kings have turned the corner quicker than most hockey goers predicted. They had been smack damn in the middle of a rebuild the past few seasons, but thanks to solid netminding and contributions from Veterans Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown, the Kings look poised to make the playoffs for the first time since the 2017-18 campaign.
It hasn’t just been the Veterans for the Kings either. Young guns Trevor Moore and Adrian Kempe have also stepped forward as solid threats. Both rank third in points among teammates with thirty-six points on the year.
Alex Iafallo - Anze Kopitar - Adrian Kempe
Trevor Moore - Phillip Danault - Arthur Kaliyev
Rasmus Kupari - Quinton Byfield - Gabriel Vilardi
Carl Grundstrom - Blake Lizotte - Martin Frk
Olli Maatta - Jordan Spence
Tobias Bjornfot - Sean Durzi
Jacob Moverare - Austin Strand
I believe the Avalanche will go with Pavel Francouz between the pipes in LA. Francouz just inked a two-year contract extension worth four million dollars, stating that his relationship with the Avalanche organization feels like a “perfect match.” He has ten wins and three losses this season, posting a .920 SV% and a 2.46 GAA.
Veteran Jonathan Quick has the unconfirmed nod for the LA Kings. Quick is a Stanley Cup Champion capable of stealing a game on any given night. Despite being thirty-six years of age, he has minded thirty-four games for the Kings, winning sixteen.