Colorado Avalanche: 3 Storylines for the Flames Game

DENVER, CO - FEBRUARY 28: Samuel Girard #49 of the Colorado Avalanche skates against the Calgary Flames at the Pepsi Center on February 28, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - FEBRUARY 28: Samuel Girard #49 of the Colorado Avalanche skates against the Calgary Flames at the Pepsi Center on February 28, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images) /

The Colorado Avalanche have a single home game before they head off to the East Coast. The home game is against the Calgary Flames.

The Colorado Avalanche are coming home for a single game between their initial two-game roadie and upcoming four-game trip. They’ll face the Calgary Flames.

Colorado has a good record — 3-1-0. They’re coming off a 6-1 rout of the Sabres in Buffalo. Their lone loss was almost equally as decisive, though — 5-2 to the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Calgary is playing .500 hockey. They have a 2-2-0 record. They’re coming off a 5-3 loss to the Blues in St. Louis. No surprise their leading scorer is Johnny Hockey, Johnny Gaudreau. He has seven points (1 goal, 6 assists) in four games. He’s matched by Matthew Tkachuk, who also has 1 goal and 6 assists. Their main goal scorer is number-three on the team for scoring — Sean Monahan has 4 goals and 1 assist.

All time, the Avalanche have gone 55-51-2-8 (ties) against the Flames. Last season they went 1-2-0 against the Flames. However, the last game was the winner — they beat Calgary 5-2 on February 28.

Besides their two games against the Minnesota Wild, this is the only October game the Avs even play against a Western Conference team.

How to Enjoy the Game

Game time: October 13, 8:00 pm MT
TV Networks: Altitude TV, CBC, SN1, CITY (Flames/national feeds)
Radio: Altitude Radio (FM 92.5)

A Tale of Special Teams

The Colorado Avalanche are on fire when it comes to special teams right now. As I noted in a previous post, the team is tied for fourth place in the NHL for power play percentage with 33.3%.  They’re in second place for penalty killing with 94.7%.

The Calgary Flames… are not doing as well. Concerning the power play, they’re #13 in the NHL with 23.8%. They’re #18 on the penalty kill with 76.5%. In fact, according to Ramina Shlah of Flame for Thought, special teams were a large part of the reason Calgary lost in St. Louis. Indeed, the Flames recorded no power play goals yet allowed St. Louis — David Perron specifically — to score two.

The Avs took a ridiculous seven penalties in the game against Buffalo. They killed them all, but still. They also scored two on their own power play, so that’s something.

According to star center Nathan MacKinnon, it’s a lot actually:

"“I think our power play was great early. It kind of gets the boys going. When the power play is going, it feels like everything else is a lot easier.”"

Like I said, hopefully the Avs minimize their need for penalty killing. However, it’s good to know they can capitalize with the man-advantage.

Streaky Scoring

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For once, the streaky scoring is a good thing for the Colorado Avalanche. Several players are enjoying points streaks that we all hope continue tonight against the Flames.

Nathan MacKinnon has five goals in four games. He’s started the season on a four-game goal scoring streak. He’s tied with John Mitchell for Avs record and one behind Mats Sundin for franchise record for goal-scoring streaks to start the season. (MVP!! MVP!!!)

While not goal-scoring streaks, three other players are also on point streaks — Alexander Kerfoot, Mikko Rantanen and Carl Soderberg. Samuel Girard is on a three-game streak.

Inaugural Colorado Girls Hockey Night

Tonight’s game marks the first-ever Colorado Girl’s Hockey Night. The Colorado Amateur Hockey Association has partnered with the Avs to recognize the rapidly growing sport of women’s hockey here in Colorado. They have created a tier 1 women’s hockey team.

If you buy tickets through this link, part of the ticket price goes to CAHA. That ticket includes admittance to the 3:30 game between CAHA Team CO Women’s 19U and the University of Colorado Women’s Hockey’s team at Pepsi Center. Likewise, any youth female athletes who are interested in hockey can sign up to Colorado Girls Hockey and receive two free tickets to the Avs vs Flames game.

CAHA Team Colorado will team up with USA Hockey and local youth hockey associations to provide a Hockey 101 clinic at 6 pm at the Pepsi Center. Boulder Hockey Club’s Executive Director & 8U’s On-Ice Director Michelle Amidon, who was previously named the first-ever female Director of Women’s Hockey at USA Hockey, will also speak.

Another exciting event is the fact that Colorado Avalanche rinkside reporter Lauren Gardner will replace Alan Roach for the night in announcing the Avs vs. Flames game. She said of the event:

"“I couldn’t be more thrilled about the growth and impact girls hockey has on the state of Colorado. And to be asked to take on the role of PA announcer for the Colorado Avalanche is an honor and a privilege, Saturday will be an impactful day for women and girls around the state and for the entire Avs organization.”"

I wasn’t planning on attending the Avs-Flames game until I saw the information about the inaugural Colorado Girl’s Hockey Night. I think I’ve made my views clear about how much women deserve a seat at the table in all aspects of hockey, and I decided to put my money where my mouth is.

Next. Avs Must Keep the Focus on Defense. dark

So, back to the Colorado Avalanche specifically. After tonight, they’ll face the Flames two more times, both in Calgary — on November 1 and January 9. After tonight’s game, they’ll have a couple game-free days before heading to New York for their four-game roadie across the East Coast.