Colorado Avalanche Prepare to Face the Nashville Predators

Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports /

The Colorado Avalanche will face the Nashville Predators on Thursday night looking to win first game of season series.

The Colorado Avalanche will face the Nashville Predators in a contest on Thursday night that has heavily favored the Predators so far this season.

The Avs have played the Preds four times already this season, and lost all four. The games haven’t even been close either, with the Preds taking the goal advantage 17-9 so far. The Avs have allowed the Predators to score at least three goals in every game, and five in two of them.

Suffice to say, the Avs would at least like to win one of the games in the season series, and their only chance to do that is on Thursday night.

However, the Avs will yet again be facing a desperate team. In fact, most of the remainder of their games will be against desperate teams. Nonetheless, the Predators are currently holding onto the first wildcard spot by one point. And, they are only three points out from No. 3 in the division.

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The Avs meanwhile, obviously have nothing to play for except their pride, and even that hasn’t been enough this season. Still, it’s fun to play the spoiler when you’re clearly out of a playoff spot, so the Avs should be looking to do that on Thursday night.

Three Keys to Victory

  • The Avs need to shutdown Filip Forsberg, who is coming off a hat trick against the Calgary Flames on Tuesday night.
  • The Avs need to have strong team defense with both Nikita Zadorov and Erik Johnson out of the lineup.
  • Finally, the Avs need to put pressure on Pekka Rinne early and often, and get off to a good start because if the Preds get going we might as well wave the white flag.

Forsberg hasn’t had the best season this year, but he’s starting to heat up playing on a line with Viktor Arvidsson and Ryan Johansen. If that line gets going, the Avs will be in trouble, so they need to make sure to shut it down.

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And, with both Zadorov and Johnson out, that is certainly going to be tough. However, against the L.A. Kings on Tuesday night, the Avs were able to play a strong team defense and almost get a victory. Calvin Pickard had to stand on his head in the first period, but the boys were able to get it going and played a nice structure. They’ll need that against the Predators again on Thursday night.

Speaking of standing on his head, Pekka Rinne has been doing the opposite lately. In his last five games, he has a .826 save percentage, a 3.40 GAA, and he’s been yanked from the pipes twice. So, the Avs need to make sure to put pressure on him early, and they might be able to get him pulled from the net.

Players to Watch Tonight

Mikko Rantanen has been on an absolute tear recently, with 8 goals and 3 assists in his last 13 games. And, he has scored a goal in each of the last three games as well. Hopefully he continues this torrid pace throughout the rest of the season.

Nathan MacKinnon is in a bit of a slump unfortunately, with just one point in his last five games, so hopefully he’s able to break out of that on Thursday night.

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On the Predators, Calle Jarnkrok has 11 points in his last 12 games, but only three points in his last five. He’s their third line center, and he is having somewhat of a breakout campaign this year. P.K. Subban is also finding his stride of late as he has seven points in his last five games.


It’s going to be a fun game to watch, and hopefully the Avs are able to put some serious pressure on Pekka Rinne because he might just break.

Usually the Avs have the Predators’ number, but that certainly has not been the case this season.

In a tight playoff race for just about every other team besides the Avs and Arizona Coyotes, the Avs are going to continue to face desperate teams.

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And, with just six days before the trade deadline, these games coming up on the schedule might be the last time we ever see certain players wear burgundy and blue.

So, even if you haven’t been watching the Avs lately, it might be time to tune into some contests here in the next few days.

Puck drop is at 6:00 pm MST on Altitude2 at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee.