The Colorado Avalanche want another home win, this one against their Central Division rival Minnesota Wild.
The Colorado Avalanche are hosting their old foe, the (hated) Minnesota Wild in their first division rival game. Last season they each won one at home and on the road against each other.
Colorado is coming off a thrilling 5-3 win over the Calgary Flames. Minnesota is coming off a thrilling (for Avs fans) loss at the hands of the Nashville Predators.
I mean, I’m not happy to see Central Division rivals win, but when it’s at the expense of the Wild, I can live with it.
Anyway, tonight is the Avalanche’s turn. I have a lot of hopes for this game. Here are some of the big ones — besides a win, of course.
Colorado Avalanche Come out with the Same Intensity
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The Colorado Avalanche came out on opening night with absolute intensity. They dominated long stretches of the game — and it would have been even better if the referees hadn’t stolen the show in the first period.
Side rant: So, the NHL decides to foment some rivalries, in this case by recreating a feisty playoff matchup. And the officials do their best to throw cold water on any heat. Good communication there.
Anyway, there were points in the third period, with Colorado up a goal, that they started to play back on their heels. It didn’t cost them, but I hate to see them let an opponent off the ropes.
Because, no, I’ll never get over that opening night 5:07 stand when Colorado blew a three-goal lead in the third against this self-same Wild.
Tyson Jost Gets a Goal
Boy, the “Tyson Jost is a bust” crowd barely waited until the final buzzer on Thursday night before they were rattling their cages. No matter that Jost looked good on the ice, despite playing with players who are brand new to the team, his naysayers were declaring he had no business on the second line.
Well, on opening night, he had four shots on goal, and at least three of them were scoring chances. One was stopped by a highlight reel save from the Flames goalie. His CorsiFor was an impressive 63.16 with a Relative Corsi of 21.98 — playing wing, which isn’t his natural position.
Jost’s scoring a goal tonight won’t shut the naysayers up anymore than his three playoff goals in three games did, but I’d still like to see it.
Nathan MacKinnon Gets a Goal
Hey, Avs fans, you know who else didn’t get a goal? Nathan MacKinnon. Time to call him a bust, too, eh?
Actually, opening night wasn’t the sharpest I’ve seen our superstar. He’s said before he sometimes gets a slow start to the seasons. And it’s only going to get tougher because, of course, he’s facing the toughest competition.
So, if he got a goal or three tonight, maybe that would get his juices going. (But if Mikko Rantanen wants to stay hot, that’s fine, too.)
Philipp Grubauer Tightens Up
Boy, Philipp Grubauer was slow to warm up. Of course, it didn’t help that the flow of the game was so negatively impacted by the excessive penalties being called. However, there was at least one goal from opening night he’d like to have back.
At the time of writing, the starting goalie hadn’t been announced, but I’m pretty confident it will be Grubauer at home against a division rival. I just hope he tightens up early against a Minnesota team looking for its first win of the season.
How to Enjoy the Game
Game time: Oct. 3, 7:00 pm MT
TV: ALT*, FS-N, FS-WI** (Wild’s feed)
Radio: Altitude Radio (FM 92.5/AM 950)
*The Big 3 carriers have colluded to block Altitude TV from being broadcast in the Denver Metro area.
**Dish has blocked Fox Sports from being broadcast in both Minnesota and Wisconsin.