The Colorado Avalanche will hit the road for a contest with the New York Islanders tonight at UBS Arena. The Islanders and Avalanche played against each other less than a week ago, resulting in a 5-3 win for the Avalanche. New York welcomes another central division foe, having secured a 2-1 victory over the St. Louis Blues this past Saturday. The Avalanche are fresh off an exhausting OTL to the Calgary Flames.
Avalanche fans have begun to feel the unrest that most fandoms have felt all season. Colorado lost two straight for the first time since November of 2021 after a grueling, heavy-weight showdown with the Calgary Flames. Cale Makar made an incredible two-way play that led to forcing overtime. Coincidentally had the Avalanche won, fans would more than likely have considered this one of the more impressive wins on the season. Although not ideal, securing an OT point against the next best team in the West is still an accomplishment.
I understand this take but also it ignores the times he should and **doesn’t get bodied. My guy glides into the zone with dudes on his back and goes backhand top cheese like it’s his job. Oh wait it is. Breathe Avs fans. #GoAvsGo https://t.co/ELtwYYi7Tx— Adrian Hernandez (@AdoHernandez27) March 6, 2022
When Colorado lost two straight back in November of last year, they followed by winning seven consecutive games. I think it’s essential for a team to experience some pushback during the regular season. We all saw what happened to the Tampa Bay Lightning when they ran through the league back in 2019. Adversity breeds growth and exposes weakness, both of which are important to antiquate ahead of the NHL trade deadline on March 21st.
Andre Burakovsky - Nathan MacKinnon - Mikko Rantanen
Gabriel Landeskog - Nazem Kadri - Valeri Nichushkin
Alex Newhook - JT Compher - Logan O’Connor
Kurtis MacDermid - Tyson Jost - Nicolas Aube-Kubel
Devon Toews - Cale Makar
Jack Johnson - Samuel Girard
Ryan Murray - Erik Johnson
NEW YORK ISLANDERS
On paper, the Islanders have a solid roster and some great goaltending, yet they have struggled to string wins together all season long. They haven’t won two straight contests since January 21st. They can change that with a win tonight.
Matt Barzal is the leading point-getter for this year’s Islander squad with thirty-seven points. He has twelve goals and twenty-five assists in forty-five games played. Barzal is listed as day-to-day and is not expected to play this evening. The Islanders will also be without big man Zdeno Chara who is still on the injured reserve list.
Anthony Beuvillier - Brock Nelson - Josh Bailey
Keiffer Bellows - Jean-Gabriel Pageau - Kyle Palmieri
Anders Lee - Zach Paise - Oliver Wahlstrom
Matt Martin - Casey Cizikas - Cal Clutterbuck
Adam Pelech - Ryan Pulock
Andy Greene - Noah Dobson
Sebastian Aho - Scott Mayfield
It’s unclear who Colorado will start in net tonight in a back-to-back scenario. Especially after Darcy Kuemper’s early exit in the Calgary game. Kuemper was not pleased after giving up a third goal on a point shot that looked to deflect off his stick and in. He did have a solid look at the shot, and I imagine he’d want that one back. He should be plenty rested for a start tonight, effectively giving Francouz the nod tomorrow.
Former Avalanche netminder Semyon Varlamov will likely start the New York Islanders. Avalanche fans are all too familiar with just how good Varlamov can be night in and night out. How will he fare against his former squad, who have scored the second-most goals in the league thus far?