Colorado Avalanche Start Second Half of the Season Against the Stars

DALLAS, TX - OCTOBER 14: Alexander Kerfoot
DALLAS, TX - OCTOBER 14: Alexander Kerfoot /

The Colorado Avalanche hope to keep their win streak alive, and get closer to a playoff spot, with a win against the Dallas Stars tonight.

The Colorado Avalanche start the second half of the 2017-18 season playing against the Central Division rival Dallas Stars. Both teams are coming off their bye-week.

The two teams have virtually the same record. Colorado comes into the game 22-16-3. Dallas has two more wins by having played two more games, putting them at 24-16-3. What’s more, the two teams have played each other four times — and split the series.

This is, therefore, the fifth and final game between the Avalanche and Stars. That said, the Avalanche have only been in the American Airlines Center one other time this season, a 3-1 loss. But this happened:

It looks like Patrik Nemeth and Tyler Seguin had some bad blood between them. Hopefully they got it out, though, because Nemeth was injured, and we need our d-men healthy.

How to Enjoy the Game

Game time: January 13, 7:00 pm MT
TV Networks: Altitude 2 TV (Avs feed), FS-SW (Stars feed)
Radio: Altitude Radio (FM 92.5)

Before the game, which is in Dallas, the Stars will honor former Dallas goalie Ed Belfour as part of the 25th Anniversary Reunion Nights series.

Important Game

More from Mile High Sticking

As stated above, the Colorado Avalanche and Dallas Stars have the same record. You know who else has essentially the same record? The Minnesota Wild. You know which two teams have the wild card spots in the Western Conference? The Stars and Wild.

Colorado has two games in hand over the Stars and three over the Wild. What’s more, the Avalanche are unbeaten in 2018. They also have a five-game win streak on the line.

Last year, teams coming off the bye-week often had to face teams that had been playing those five days. Quite often the teams coming off of vacation were rusty. This season, the NHL organized the schedule so that teams played other teams coming off a bye-week.

So, the Stars and Avs are on even footing. They’ve both beaten each other twice. With a win tonight, the Avalanche won’t overtake the second wild card berth, but they will be just one point out with games in hand.

The Avalanche have shown they can win big games, as they did against the Wild before the bye-week. But that was a home game. The Avs need to show they can win big games on the road, too. They’re just 7-9-2 in other teams’ barns.

Players to Watch

Three players suiting up tonight have been named to the All Star Team — Tyler Seguin and John Klingberg from the Stars and Nathan MacKinnon from the Avalanche. Naturally, we’ll be watching them.

For the Stars, I think we Avs fans will be watching Alexander Radulov with a little side-eye because he was an almost-Av. He has 38 points (16 goals, 22 assists), which would put him third in Colorado for scoring.

For the Avalanche, I think we’re going to start watching goalie Jonathan Bernier a lot closer. Semyon Varlamov is expected to be out at least until the end of the month with more groin problems. That makes Bernier our number-one goalie for the next couple weeks.

Last season Bernier went 21-7-4 with the Anaheim Ducks. Unfortunately, Bernier has already matched his loss total from last season in just 17 games, having gone 9-7-1. However, Bernier was perfect in the home stand, earning Second Star of the Week honors for the NHL for his 3-0 record.

Next: 1st Avs Practice After Bye-Week

After tonight’s game, the Colorado Avalanche head home for a nice three-game home stand against two important Western Conference rivals — the Anaheim Ducks and the San Jose Sharks — as well as the New York Rangers.