The Colorado Avalanche are looking for redemption against the Tampa Bay Lightning after losing to the Bolts just nine days ago.
I hate when other teams make the Colorado Avalanche look foolish. That’s what happened when the Avs visited the Tampa Bay Lightning nine days ago and lost 5-2.
The score wasn’t so bad as you can see. However, the Lightning came out and dominated the majority of the game. The Avalanche were chasing them around like an AHL team unfairly pitted against an NHL team. The Bolts are just so crisp in their passing and machine-like in the precision of their plays.
The Lightning play keepaway from the Avalanche with ease.
Well, the Colorado Avalanche have skill of their own. I doubt they suddenly got crisp and machine-like, but they’re scrappy. Colorado is coming off of a (scrappy) 2-1 win over the Florida Panthers, while Tampa is coming off a (crisp) 4-1 win over the Arizona Coyotes.
How to Enjoy the Game
Game time: December 16 , 7:00 pm MT
TV Networks: Altitude TV (Avs feed), SUN (Bolts feed)
Radio: Altitude Radio (AM 950)
Saturday night is Star Wars Night. If you buy tickets through this link, you can get a limited edition Avs/Last Jedi Star Wars Puck.
There’s no question that center Nathan MacKinnon is the Colorado Avalanche’s best player. He leads the team in points (35), goals (13), and assists (22). After a slow start, he’s been on fire the last 21 games, earning 30 of his 35 points in that time span.
As I wrote in a previous post, the Colorado Avalanche need their secondary scorers to start chipping in a few more goals and accruing a few more points overall. However, when you’re facing the best team in the NHL, you need your best player to be his best.
MacKinnon did not score against Tampa when they last met, though he did earn an assists on Gabriel Landeskog‘s goal. However, Nathan MacKinnon scored his first career hat trick as a sophomore against the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Pepsi Center.
Resiliency of Youth
More from Mile High Sticking
- Could Colorado Avalanche move on from Pavel Francouz next offseason?
- 4 goalies to replace Pavel Francouz if he has to miss time
- Colorado Avalanche make sneaky signing with Tatar
- Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog could return in 2023-24 playoffs
- Colorado Avalanche rookie face-off tournament roster
The Avalanche are 4-6-0 in their last 10 games. That includes four losses at Pepsi Center but also two tough road wins. Winning tonight would put Colorado back at .500 for the last 10 games and two games over .500 on the season so far.
They’re a young team, second youngest in the NHL. They’re dressing multiple rookies every night. Rookies make mistakes (as defenseman Samuel Girard did against the Panthers, which led right to a goal), but they bounce back.
Youngsters are good at putting the past behind them and not letting things get to them. Hopefully they can learn from their mistakes in Tampa and come out with a chip on their shoulders.
A boon is that the team might be going back to the traditional 12 forwards, six defensemen configuration. Though the Avs are 3-2 with the untraditional 11 and 7 lineup, at a certain point MacKinnon (who double shifts) is going to get worn out and maybe injured.
Alexander Kerfoot Update
Rookie Alexander Kerfoot got injured by friendly fire in the game against the Pittsburgh Penguins. He took an Erik Johnson slap shot off the foot. He returned to the game for a few shifts, but he eventually left for good. He missed the next two games, against the Washington Capitals and the Florida Panthers.
Kerfoot skated in a red no-contact jersey before practice yesterday. However, he left the ice when the regular session began. According to coach Jared Bednar, “with his boot on he’s still pretty sore.” He’s doubtful for tonight’s game.
I wish it was funny that Kerfoot hurt his ker-foot, but truthfully he’s been the Avalanche’s best rookie — which is something special considering they have about five on the roster at any given time. I just want him to be ker-healthy. (No, I couldn’t resist.)
Anyway, this is the last time the Colorado Avalanche play the Tampa Bay Lightning this season.