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Open Thread: Colorado Avalanche @ Nashville Predators (6:00 p.m.)

It’s a Colorado Avalanche gameday!

NHL: APR 14 Avalanche at Predators Photo by Danny Murphy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Exactly one week ago, it felt like the sky was falling on the Colorado Avalanche. They had lost five of their last seven by a combined score of 31-15, and were coming off what seemed to be their worst loss since the ignominious 48-point season, getting blown out of their own building by the St. Louis Blues, 8-2 and “quitting” according to Jared Bednar.

What a difference a week makes, as the Avs responded to the embarrassing Blues loss by cruising past newly-minted rival Seattle 5-1, destroying rebuilding Anaheim 8-2, and then winning the biggest game of the season with six unanswered goals in Dallas to come back from a 3-0 deficit this weekend.

Colorado Avalanche

The spark for this recent turnaround doesn’t seem like anything particularly obvious. The Avalanche are just playing better hockey and playing a more even-keel style. The St. Louis game was an unmitigated disaster, with players panicking left and right and creating and endless array of odd-man rushes. Against Dallas on Saturday night, the Avs had another opportunity to panic and get out of their game going down 3-0, but they stuck to their game and grinded their way back into it.

It was the kind of hockey Avalanche fans have come to associate with this team, and it should be interesting to see if they can keep it up going into a game which has the potential to be a letdown game for the Avs. The lineup should stay the same as Saturday night as there is no new news on injured players like Josh Manson, although he could make a return, and Ryan Johansen will make his return to the city he spent last eight years in.

Projected Lineup:

Valeri Nichushkin — Nathan MacKinnon — Mikko Rantanen

Jonathan Drouin — Ryan Johansen — Tomas Tatar

Miles Wood — Ross Colton — Logan O’Connor

Andrew Cogliano — Fredrik Olofsson — Joel Kiviranta

Devon Toews — Cale Makar

Bo Byram — Sam Girard

Jack Johnson — Caleb Jones

Let us know what you think of the matchup in the comments!

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