Saturday afternoon/evening hockey is coming up for two teams very much on the opposite side of one another in the spectrum.
An odd 4:00 p.m. puck drop between the Colorado Avalanche and Arizona Coyotes is on deck. The first of the two teams are looking to get back on track and continue to keep up in the Wild West. Meanwhile, the last time these two faced it was David beating Goliath in Arizona 6-3.
The Avs are coming off a disappointing 5-2 loss at home to the Los Angeles Kings Thursday night. While they came out of the gate on the right foot, LA took their chances and hounded Colorado all night long which led to little success offensively.
Jared Bednar said his team has had bad antics creeping into the team recently in these losses and tough week, where they’ve won 1-of-4 games. Cale Makar said the exact same thing after the loss as well.
He will need to step up from the blue line to help give this team some motivation and desire to win moving forward. This matchup may not be a bad time to do so, as they’ll look to avenge both Thursday’s loss and the loss the last time the Avs and Yotes faced off.
Artturi Lehkonen (62) - Nathan MacKinnon (29) - Valeri Nichushkin (13)
Evan Rodrigues (9) - J.T. Compher (37) - Mikko Rantanen (96)
Andrew Cogliano (11) - Lars Eller (20) - Logan O’Connor (25)
Matt Nieto (83) - Alex Newhook (18) - Denis Malgin (81)
Devon Toews (7) - Cale Makar (8)
Sam Girard (49) - Bowen Byram (4)
Jack Johnson (3) - Brad Hunt (17)
The Coyotes are, well, the Coyotes. Stuck in what seems like a perpetual rebuild or bad phase, this season is no different. Over half of their cap is helping other teams pay for other moves, such as Patrick Kane’s move to the New York Rangers. They’ve had departures themselves with the exits of Nick Bjustad, Shane Gostisbehere, and Jacob Chychrun.
Alas, they still play hockey every once in a while despite some of the decisions the front office makes. Their most recent matchup against the Washington Capitals ended in the win column though, as they took it 4-1 Thursday night at home.
It is part of a two-game win streak and three-game point streak they’re currently on. They aren’t doing good in the race for Connor Bedard at this point, but their captain (and linked name to the Avs before the trade deadline) Nick Schmaltz will look to lead the line for a surprisingly surging Yotes team.
Clayton Keller (9) - Barrett Hayton (29) - Nick Schmaltz (8)
Matias Maccelli (63) - Jack McBain (22) - Lawson Crouse (67)
Brett Ritchie (24) - Travis Boyd (72) - Christian Fischer (36)
Liam O’Brien (38) - Laurent Dauphin (26) - Zack Kassian (44)
Juuso Valimaki (4) - Josh Brown (3)
Patrik Nemeth (2) - J.J. Moser (90)
Connor Mackey (12) - Victor Soderstrom (77)
With Karel Vejmelka day-to-day, we should see Connor Ingram getting the nod for Arizona. Meanwhile, Bednar could roll with Alexandar Georgiev as he always has as of late, but if he were to roll with Jonas Johansson in any game this season, this may be the one.