The Colorado Avalanche will face the Flyers in Philadelphia for their first game back after a long bye-week/All Star break. The game is the first of a five-game roadie.
The Colorado Avalanche are finally back from their bye-week/All Star break. They have two practices — one for All Star Nathan MacKinnon — under their belts, and they’re ready to get back into action.
We hope they are anyway.
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February marks an important month for the Avalanche. While the remaining games of the season as a whole may seem mostly favorable for the team, February sees them play some tough games, either because of the location or the opponent — sometimes both. (No Blues in St. Louis at least.)
In that vein, the Flyers’ barn, the Well Fargo Center, is not too bad for Colorado. They’ve gont 3-1 there in their last four visits, which, of course, only come yearly.
Let’s look at some other keys for the game.
Rust vs Fatigue
As noted, the Colorado Avalanche haven’t played a game in 11 days, and they’ve only practiced twice in that time period. They flew into Philadelphia yesterday morning after an early practice.
The Flyers played last night in Pittsburgh, so the Avalanche have the advantage of having been waiting for them in Philly. What’s more, the game went into overtime. So hopefully they’re a rested team about to face a tired team.
That really is going to be a factor for Colorado — how rusty will the players feel after all that time off. Granted, as Ryan Graves pointed out, they should have also been working out. But workouts on vacation aren’t the same as team practices.
Hopefully they’re just rested and healed.
According to the coaching staff, who love their salad shooter approach to line-making, that might not last. They’re taking a “wait and see” approach to easing Donskoi back into the lineup.
The top line is likely to remain the same (though you never know). On the second line, where Donskoi had been skating until his injury, Valeri Nuchushkin has taken his spot with Nazem Kadri and Andre Burakovsky. The third line is Matt Calver, Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, and JT Compher.
I expect the coaching staff to take a Hunger Games approach to players making the lines, which I don’t think breeds consistency, but ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.
How to Enjoy the Game
Game Time: Feb. 1, 5:00 pm MT
TV: ALT, ESPN+ (Flyers’ feed)
Radio: Altitude Radio (FM 92.5/AM 950)
The Colorado Avalanche will be hosting a watch party at Sports Column.