The Colorado Avalanche would like to finish their West Coast road trip with a win in the desert against the Arizona Coyotes. Tonight is the first game of a back-to-back series.
The Colorado Avalanche are looking for perfection, at least when it comes to sweeping the Wild West road trip. After victories in Anaheim (4-3) and Los Angeles, Colorado has just this one game left before returning to Colorado.
The Colorado Avalanche have historically done very well against the Arizona (née Phoenix) Coyotes, having gone 48-29-6-4 (ties) all time. The 9-9-2 Coyotes are coming off a 3-2 overtime loss to the Vegas Golden Knights. The 11-6-4 Avalanche have won their two road games so far.
Side note of interest: The Colorado Avalanche lead the entire NHL on the power play with 32.9% The Arizona Coyotes lead the entire NHL on the penalty kill with 91.9%. Adds a little filip to the play, eh?
How to Enjoy the Game
Game time: November 23, 6:00pm MT
TV Networks: Alt, FS-SW+ (Coyotes’ feed)
Radio: Altitude Radio (FM 92.5)
Dominance of the Rantanen Line
That’s right, we might want to start calling the top line Mikko Rantanen‘s line.
Ok, no disrespect to our Irish Sniper, Nathan MacKinnon. I acknowledge he’s still our number-one star. However, anyone who still thinks winger Mikko Rantanen is just riding his coattails is delusional.
After a two-point night against the Kings, Rantanen continues to lead the NHL in scoring with 34 points (8 goals, 26 assists). MacKinnon is not far behind with 31 (14 goals, 17 assists). Captain Gabriel Landeskog, the heart of the team, is also in the conversation with 23 points (13 goals, 10 assists).
Together, they’ve combined for 88. The Who’s Your Daddy Line is the best in the NHL.
Let’s just celebrate this ridiculous Rantanen pass to set up Colin Wilson:
One does not simply defend Mikko Rantanen.
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The Colorado Avalanche were ahead 7-1 midway through the third period. The score ended up 7-3.
I get it’s hard to keep your mettle up with there’s a six-goal differential. However, you get paid to keep your mettle up. I may have started drinking wine and typing this post, but as a player, you can’t take your foot off the gas.
Colorado can’t rest on their laurels. They have a tendency to play down to their opponents — only that isn’t going to fly against the resurgent Arizona Coyotes…
Resurgence of the Coyotes
The Arizona Coyotes are 9-9-2. That may not seem like a great record, but you have to remember the Coyotes were bottom feeders the last couple seasons. Last year, they didn’t even get a win until their 11th game, which was an overtime victory. They didn’t get a regulation game until Game 22.
They finished with 70 points (pshaw — you call that a tank?), which was #29 out of 31 in the NHL.
So, now they’re at the quarter-season mark and playing to a .500 record. That’s a resurgence.
The Colorado Avalanche better take them seriously. This is a ‘Yotes team that can bite.
Colin Wilson and Matthew Nieto returned to the lineup Wednesday night after missing the previous game with injuries. Marko Dano and Gabriel Bourque were the healthy scratches to make room for those two players.
Also, this has happened:
That’s right, forward JT Compher will be returning to the lineup after he took a full practice with the team. No word yet on what line he’ll be on, but I’ll guess the fourth line to ease him back into action. He’s been out 15 games.
Though not related to injury, the Avs have announced that Philipp Grubauer will be the goalie tonight.
After tonight, the Colorado Avalanche head home for their latest back-to-back series. They’ll be hosting the Dallas Stars at the Pepsi Center.