Colorado Avalanche: 4 Cans for Preseason Game 4 vs Wild

ST. PAUL, MN - MARCH 19: Philipp Grubauer #31 of the Colorado Avalanche makes a save behind Zach Parise #11 of the Minnesota Wild during a game at Xcel Energy Center on March 19, 2019 in St. Paul, Minnesota.(Photo by Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Images)
ST. PAUL, MN - MARCH 19: Philipp Grubauer #31 of the Colorado Avalanche makes a save behind Zach Parise #11 of the Minnesota Wild during a game at Xcel Energy Center on March 19, 2019 in St. Paul, Minnesota.(Photo by Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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The Colorado Avalanche will hopefully answer some questions in their fourth preseason game of 2019-20. Here are four to watch for.

The Colorado Avalanche are hosting the Minnesota Wild in the second game of a back-to-back, home-and-home series.

Yesterday, Minnesota iced a mainly NHL-ready roster for their home crowd. In typical preseason fashion, the Avalanche sent mostly their youngsters on the road.

Well, today we should see the opposite. The NHL vets who didn’t go on the road and who are cleared to play should make up most of tonight’s Avalanche team. And they should face the Wild’s prospects.

That didn’t work so well against the Dallas Stars, but who’s counting?

So, let’s look at some “can” questions that will hopefully get answered during the game.

1. Can Colorado Score on the Power Play?

The Colorado Avalanche have gone 0/17 in the preseason on the power play, 0/35 if you go back to the Rookie Faceoff. What’s unsettling is they went 0/4 against the Stars with primarily their PP1 unit in place.

Well, hopefully they’ll start ironing out the bugs. If yesterday’s game is any indication, they should get a lot of chances.

2. Can Colorado Score and Win?

Preseason games don’t matter. The Avalanche won all their preseason games before the horrid 48-Point Debacle.

However, you want to see your NHL roster be able to beat a prospect roster. That didn’t happen against the Stars despite Colorado outshooting them 47 to 23.

Is it really too much to ask for a blowout? Especially with Nathan MacKinnon out there?

3. Can We Call Our 2nd and 4th Lines Set?

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One of the things teams do in the preseason is iron out their lines. The first and third for Colorado are hard. JT Compher played yesterday, so I doubt our third-line center will play today. And our first-line winger is yukking it up in Switzerland.

However, the players who should make up the second and fourth lines should be skating tonight. We’ve got both those centers, Nazem Kadri and… oh, shoot. Pierre-Edouard Bellemare is out with a “lower-body tweak.”

Well, we can look at the second line, which in training camp was Kadri centering Tyson Jost and Joonas Donskoi. Andre Burakovsky is supposed to be on that line instead of Donskoi, but he’s been skating in Mikko Rantanen‘s place.

4. Can the Avs Avoid the Wild’s Goonery?

In the last game, when Minnesota iced their supposedly NHL roster, they acted like a bunch of AHL goons. Now, they’ve probably sent out their AHLers. Are the Colorado Avalanche going to have to put up with their goonery?

This isn’t the team to prevent that. If Bellemare is injured, with Erik Johnson and Ian Cole out, and AJ Greer having played yesterday… What’s going to stop the AHLer’s from targeting MacKinnon?

Nazem Kadri and an errant elbow would do the trick, but we definitely don’t want to see that happen here in Colorado. There’s always our Viking captain, of course.

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How to Enjoy the Game

Game time: Sept. 22, 5:00 pm MT
Radio: Altitude Radio (FM 92.5/AM 950)

The game isn’t being shown on Altitude or FSN+.