The struggling Colorado Avalanche - a phrase we haven’t had to type much in recent years - have a lot to prove as they head to the Pacific Northwest for the already final time in this young season to face the pesky Seattle Kraken.
Seattle prevailed 4-3 over Colorado after a last-minute goal by Oliver Bjorkstrand four days ago, and in between matchups both teams lost badly - the Kraken fell 4-1 to Edmonton, and the Avs were embarrassed at home in an 8-2 drubbing with a third-period collapse coach Jared Bednar described as the worst period of hockey he’d ever seen from his club.
One side is going to get back in the win column tonight, and one will continue their downward spiral.
Colorado Avalanche Projected Lineup:
Jonathan Drouin — Nathan MacKinnon — Valeri Nichushkin
Tomas Tatar — Ryan Johansen — Mikko Rantanen
Miles Wood — Ross Colton — Logan O’Connor
Joel Kiviranta — Fredrik Olofsson — Kurtis MacDermid
Devon Toews — Cale Makar
Bo Byram — Sam Girard
Jack Johnson — Josh Manson
Note: Sam Malinski wasn’t brought on the trip just for fun - someone must be at risk of missing the game who wouldn’t be easily replaced by Caleb Jones. It seems likely that is Cale or Bo.
Seattle Kraken Projected Lines
Jared McCann — Matthew Beniers — Kailer Yamamoto
Jaden Schwartz — Alexander Wennberg — Brandon Tanev
Eeli Tolvanen — Yanni Gourde — Oliver Bjorkstrand
Ryan Winterton — Shane Wright — Tye Kartye
Vince Dunn — Adam Larsson
Jamie Oleksiak — William Borgen
Brian Dumoulin — Justin Shultz