Colorado Avalanche Hope to Send the Jets Flying

DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 29: Carl Soderberg
DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 29: Carl Soderberg /

The Colorado Avalanche hope to start 2018 off with a bang by beating their Central Division rival Winnipeg Jets at home. This is the fourth game of the six-game home stand.

In the first game of the new year, 2018, the Colorado Avalanche are hosting the Central Division rival Winnipeg Jets.

The Colorado Avalanche are coming off a thrilling New Year’s Eve trouncing of the New York Islanders. They took the game 6-1. The Jets, unfortunately, are also coming off a solid victory — 5-0 over the Edmonton Oilers on New Year’s Eve.

The Avalanche and Jets have already met once this season. They played November 29, a game that saw Nathan MacKinnon earn the overtime winner. Alexander Kerfoot and Nikita Zadorov also scored for the Avs.

How to Enjoy the Game

Game time: January 2, 7:00 pm MT
TV Networks: Altitude TV (Avs feed), TSN3 (Jets feed)
Radio: Altitude Radio (AM 950)

Winning in the Central Division

If the Colorado Avalanche really are aiming for the playoffs — and they say that they are — they are going to have to start beating Central Division teams. To date, their record against Central Division teams is 3-5-2. Colorado definitely needs to start tipping that balance.

Unfortunately, the Central Division is as tough a race as it’s ever been. Colorado is dead last with 41 points — the Chicago Blackhawks are one better with 42 points. The Jets have 52 points. Yet when you’re talking the entire Western Conference, three teams are below the Avalanche (Edmonton, Vancouver, and Arizona.) In the entire NHL, there are seven more teams below Colorado — including the defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Avalanche can’t hope to have a real playoff push unless they’re over .500 against the Central Division.

Sven Andrighett vs AJ Greer

More from Mile High Sticking

Colorado Avalanche forward Sven Andrighetto fell awkwardly into the boards late in the game against the Islanders. He left the ice in considerable pain and did not return. According to the Avalanche, he is day-to-day. Coach Jared Bednar called him “probable” for the game against the Jets, though Andrighetto didn’t participate in the optional New Year’s Day practice.

Bednar added that the team would test how he felt before the game to see if he was “ready to go,”

In the meantime, the Colorado Avalanche have made another San Antonio Rampage call up, forward A.J. Greer. (That gives them seven rookies on the active  roster, by the way.) Greer has played 16 games with San Antonio, recording six goals and four assists. In six games with the Avalanche this year, he has an assist.

Heavy Hitting Style

Whenever the Colorado Avalanche play the Winnipeg Jets, they tend to be physical games. As Bednar points out, Winnipeg plays a heavy style. What’s more, the Jets may be getting one of their heavy hitters back, Dustin Byfuglien. He’s been out with a lower body injury since December 10.

If Byfuglien is playing, I’d like to see Greer out there. He’s an instigator, and I think it would be great to see him get under Big Buck’s skin. Greer also doesn’t shy from the heavy game.

That’s not to say that the other Avs rookies shy from the heavy game, it’s just that most of them are so small and breakable. I’d really like to see Greer on ice against the Buck.

Next: Avalanche Resolutions for 2018

After tonight’s contest, the Colorado Avalanche have two more games against the Jets both in Winnipeg. They play on February 3 and Feburary 16.