The Colorado Avalanche start their 2018-19 season with a home game against the (hated) Minnesota Wild. Here are three storylines to watch for.
Colorado Avalanche hockey is back! And this year the Avs start at Pepsi Center.
The Avalanche start the 2018-19 season against the Minnesota Wild at home. If the team sticks to what they were saying in the preseason, they’ll be counting points from Day 1. This season is going to be a tight race to make the playoffs. And that’s especially true in the tough Central Division.
Over the years, Colorado has a slight advantage over the Wild, having gone 56-49-10-3 (ties). The goal differentil is 321-305 in favor of the Avs. Last season was especially good for Colorado. They lost in the shootout early on, but then killed it the next three straight. The goal differential for last season was 21-7.
Tonight’s game is also the season opener for Minnesota. They’re coming off a 4-3 preseason overtime loss… to the Avalanche.😊
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How to Enjoy the Game
Game time: October 4, 7:00 pm MT
TV Networks: Altitude TV, FS-N, FS-WI (Wild feed)
Radio: Altitude Radio (FM 92.5)
Opening Night History with the Wild
So, I’m not a big fan of starting against the Minnesota Wild. In the last few years — ever since Nino Niederreiter’s ping heard round Avs Nation — it hasn’t been good for Colorado to start against Minny. They started out 2014-15 with home and home shutout losses to the Wild. That series got in their heads and affected them all season.
The next year, they started out the 2015-16 season with a 5-4 loss during which Minnesota scored four goals in 5:07 during the third period to overcome a three-goal deficit.
Well, the good news is only eight Avs players are left from that last game. And we’re fresher off of last season’s 7-1, 7-2, 5-1 trouncings of the Avs over the Wild.
I think we’re still very much tied to Nathan MacKinnon’s coattails. How our star center goes, so goes the team.
Nate didn’t have a decent preseason, not that that should matter too much. However, he did miss the Fan Fest practice and the final preseason game for “maintenance.” The understanding is that he was maybe a little banged up and the team wanted to save him for tonight.
Well, it’ll soon be tonight. We all want to see the MacKinnon line — rounded out by Gabriel Landeskog and Mikko Rantanen — dominate against the (hated) Minnesota Wild.
Second-Line Center Position
More from Mile High Sticking
While the team rode almost solely on Nathan MacKinnon’s coattails last season, that’s not going to cut it this year. The Colorado Avalanche are going to need to get some secondary scoring.
And that starts with the second-line center position.
At the time of writing, the opening night roster had been announced, but we didn’t know the Avs lines. I believe the second-line center position is between Tyson Jost and Alexander Kerfoot. I’m also guessing it’s going to remain somewhat fluid as J.T. Compher may even be added to the mix.
I liked what I saw from all three in training camp and the preseason. I also hope for a big game from both Compher and Jost, both of whom love scoring on the Wild. (Jost even started out his NHL career by scoring on the Wild, one of the reasons I will always hockey love him.)
The Colorado Avalanche and Minnesota Wild will meet four times this season. Their next game is October 27 in Minnesota.