The Colorado Avalanche are coming off a disappointing overtime loss at the frisky Arizona Coyotes, and they will have an opportunity to right the ship against a team that frankly can’t beat anyone right now. The Anaheim Ducks were expected to be one of the NHL’s poorer teams coming into a clear rebuilding season, but they are mired in a stretch that is disappointing even by their modest standards for this year.
The Avs didn’t play particularly poorly against the Coyotes on Thursday night, but they didn’t play particularly well either. After winning the Corsi and expected goals battle in the first period and taking a 1-0 lead into the break, the Avs seemed to sit back and the Coyotes took the game to them, accounting for 85% of expected goals in the second period and 61% in the third. The game had a sleepy feel to it - as many early-season NHL games do - and it should be interesting to see what kind of effort the Avalanche put forth against a team that they frankly have no business losing to right now.
The last time the Avalanche played the Ducks, they annihilated them in a game that helped end a poor stretch of play for Colorado. They were two games removed from the 8-2 embarrassment against the Blues where Jared Bednar said they quit, and they took their frustrations out on an overmatched Ducks team to replicate the beatdown the Blues put down on them, also winning 8-2. The Avalanche have captured points in six of seven games since that meeting, and they will look to make it seven of eight as they are the third heaviest favorite in the NHL today according to the experts in the desert.
Colorado Avalanche 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 — Josh Manson
Jack Johnson — Caleb Jones
Anaheim Ducks Projected Lineup
Frank Vatrano — Mason McTavish — Ryan Strome
Alex Killorn — Leo Carlsson — Troy Terry
Max Jones — Adam Henrique — Jakob Silfverberg
Brock McGinn — Sam Carrick — Brett Leason
Cam Fowler — Tristan Luneau
Jackson LaCombe — Radko Gudas
Pavel Mintyukov — Ilya Lyubushkin