The Colorado Avalanche face the Stars in Dallas in their second game of a back-to-back set.
The Colorado Avalanche complete their second game of a back-to-back set by traveling to Dallas to face the Stars. Dallas is coming off a 4-1 loss against the Nashville Predators. But they’re rested — the game was on October 12 — and at home.
Colorado is coming off of a 3-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks that should have been at least a 4-1 win with disallowed goals that should have counted. In any case, the Avs did win a game that would have demoralized them last season and caused them to go into panic mode. And lose.
The Avalanche and Stars have faced each other 111 times in the regular season. In that time, Colorado has edged the Stars 54-40-9-8(ties). They have a slight edge in goals, too, with the Avalanche scoring 310 to the Stars’ 297.
Last season, the two teams faced each other five times, including in the Avalanche’s home opener. Colorado prevailed that time, 6-5, but Dallas edged the Avs out the other four times. The last meeting resulted in a 4-3 shootout loss on April 8.
How to Enjoy the Game
Game time: October 14, 6:00 pm MT
TV Networks: Altitude TV (Avs feed), FS-SW (Stars feed), NHL TV Free Game
Radio: Altitude Radio (AM 950)
The Colorado Avalanche have a three-game win streak on the line. They never had a three-game win streak all of last year. They only ever strung together two wins.
The Avalanche defense has heated up with both Tyson Barrie and Nikita Zadorov scoring in the win against the Ducks. Barrie’s was the game-winning goal. Zadorov’s empty-netter was his first-ever as an Avalanche.
Captain Gabriel Landeskog has a modest scoring streak going. He scored a goal against the Ducks and had two assists in the home opener against the Bruins. He has four points (2 goals, 2 assists) on the year.
Sven Andrighetto leads the Avalanche in scoring with six points (3 goals, 3 assists).
Challenges the Stars Present
For this section, I asked Blackout Dallas to give me some insight into the team. Here’s the response:
"1) The Avalanche early on have skated with a lot of speed, which means they might run into issues if they can’t just wheel through the rink the whole time. With the Stars being physical, disciplined, and heavy defensively, Colorado might have to adjust and play a better game along the boards."
That’s fair. It’s true the Colorado Avalanche are built for speed. However, power players like Gabriel Landeskog, J.T. Compher and Blake Comeau can usually muscle through.
"2) The Stars roll four, capable offensive lines. The Avs have a notably suspect defensive core, which means there might be some challenges matching defense pairs up with forward lines."
The Avalanche’s defensive corps is young. However, they’re built in the new style of being fleet puck-movers. If this game turns into a run and gun style, Colorado has already shown capable of keeping up.
"3) Ben Bishop has been stellar in the early going of 2017-18. It’s hard to imagine Colorado getting more than 25-30 shots on goal, so they really have to make their shots count and get into high-danger areas in the Stars’ D zone."
Semyon Varlamov has been stellar, seemingly back to his Varly Varly days. If the Avs get 30 shots on goal, I’ll be happy — there are some snipers on the team.
Most Memorable Game
That opening night shoot-em-up from a year ago was a lot of fun, but it’s not the most memorable game for me. Instead, I loved the time Cody McLeod did Dallas on Valentine’s Day.
This was a game that saw McLeod get into two fist fights, get ejected from the game, and earn first star honors.
Here’s McLeod’s first fight, against Curtis McKenzie, who was trying to make a name for himself:
I don’t know that he made a good name for himself.
The second fight came about as McLeod looked ready to take on the entire Dallas bench:
The actual fight was against Jason Demers, but look at how McLeod gives a little jab to the faces of Stars players on the bench. That’s what got him booted from the game, though.
I miss the Highlander. I realize there’s not much place for his style of hockey anymore — but I liked it when there was.
The Avalanche and Stars are Central Division rivals, so this is the first of five games for the two clubs. They play again on October 24, November 22 and December 3, all in Colorado. The Avs travel to Dallas for their final meeting on January 13.