Colorado Avalanche Looking for Revenge in Dallas

DALLAS, TX - MARCH 7: Mikko Rantanen #96 of the Colorado Avalanche handles the puck against the Dallas Stars at the American Airlines Center on March 7, 2019 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Glenn James/NHLI via Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - MARCH 7: Mikko Rantanen #96 of the Colorado Avalanche handles the puck against the Dallas Stars at the American Airlines Center on March 7, 2019 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Glenn James/NHLI via Getty Images) /

The Colorado Avalanche need to win this important Central Division game against the Dallas Stars if they want to keep their dim playoff hopes alive.

The Colorado Avalanche played an awful game in Dallas two weeks ago, and I wrote off their playoff hopes. I caught flak for being so pessimistic, but, hey, I’m just keeping it real.

So are the Avalanche. Right now their playoff hopes are on life support thanks to a 3-2 record since that fateful game. A five-game winning streak would have been preferable — and now screwing up the Anaheim Ducks game at home would have been especially peachy. However, 3-2 is enough to keep Colorado in contention for now.

But there are must-win games, and then there are season-on-the-line games. Tonight is one of those.

Let’s look at what’s in store for us.

How to Enjoy the Game

Game time: Mar 19, 6:30 pm MT
TV Networks: ALT,  FS-SW (Stars’ Feed)
Radio: Altitude Radio (FM 92.5)

Goalie Situation

It’s no surprise that as soon as the Colorado Avalanche got good goal tending again they started winning again. Semyon Varlamov got the team going in the right direction before the trade deadline by winning four out of five games, including a shutout against the red-hot Vegas Golden Knights.

Fittingly, he then seemed to pass the torch to Philipp Grubauer, who has three wins in the last four games, including two shutouts.

At the time of writing, there was no word on which goalie would start. I’m guessing Grubauer, with the goalies splitting the home and home back-to-back games they have coming up this weekend. But you never know. Whomever is in net tonight has to play his best game.

Speaking of goalies, I’m still salty as hell about Ben Bishop squashing our captain like he’s Flat Stanley. Gabriel Landeskog

Superstar Dominance

It’s also no surprise that the Avalanche’s winning coincides with Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen looking like superstars again. Gabriel Landeskog had already recorded a career-best season, so again, I shake my fist at you, Ben Bishop.

More from Analysis

Nathan MacKinnon has 91 points, which is just six points shy of last year’s career-high 97. He also has 37 goals, and we’d all love for him to break that 40-goal mark for the first time in his career. He has 7 points (3 goals, 4 assists) in the last five games.

Mikko Rantanen has already beaten his career-best points from last year with 87. He also cracked the 30-goal mark for the first time in his career — he has 31.

Tyson Barrie hasn’t exactly been a passenger lately either. He’s cracked the 50-point mark for the third time in his career and is just four goals and a total of six points shy of his career bests from last season.

News and Bits

The Colorado Avalanche recalled AJ Greer from the AHL and flew him out to Minnesota to take a lovely tour of Minneapolis before sitting him in the club seats during the Wild game. A mere 24 hours later, they flew him back to rejoin the Colorado Eagles.

That is some stupid asset management. I had just posted my article about why the Avs might be saving AJ for Dallas while he was heading back to Colorado. The Avalanche have only one call-up left for the rest of the season. I’m also peeved as hell that they jerked Greer around like that. Like I said, poor asset management.

On a smarter but no less frustrating level, Avs insider Adrian Dater has reported that prospect Conor Timmins has been “shut down” for the remainder of the season. He’s been out all season while recovering from concussion symptoms. According to Dater, he still gets occasional headaches, and the team has decided he will not play even in the AHL this late in the year.

That sucks. Let’s all send healing rays his way because he seems like a nice kid and he could really help the team, too.

Next. Now or Never for the Avs. dark

After tonight the Colorado Avalanche head back to Denver for the first game of their home and home back-to-back with the Chicago Blackhawks. More must-win games, by the way.