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Colorado Avalanche Game Day: Back to Cali to face Kings

The Avalanche take their talents to The Golden State.

NHL: Colorado Avalanche at Los Angeles Kings Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

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.

COLORADO AVALANCHE

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

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.

FORWARDS

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

DEFENDERS

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.

FORWARDS

Alex Iafallo - Anze Kopitar - Adrian Kempe

Trevor Moore - Phillip Danault - Arthur Kaliyev

Rasmus Kupari - Quinton Byfield - Gabriel Vilardi

Carl Grundstrom - Blake Lizotte - Martin Frk

DEFENDERS

Olli Maatta - Jordan Spence

Tobias Bjornfot - Sean Durzi

Jacob Moverare - Austin Strand

GOALTENDERS

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.