Colorado Avalanche Hope to Keep the Momentum in Columbus

The Colorado Avalanche will play their penultimate game of a five-game road trip against the Blue Jackets in Columbus. They need to keep up their momentum.

This evening, the Colorado Avalanche will play their fourth game of a five-game roadie. They’ll be facing the Blue Jackets in Columbus.

Even though the Avalanche like to make deals with the BJs, they haven’t fared well in Nationwide Arena. In the last four games they’ve gone 1-2-1 in that arena. Maybe it’s that ridiculous cannon.

Anyway, today the Avalanche are making their first and only trip to Columbus. The game also marks the first of a back-to-back series. Fml, except Columbus played last night. Granted, they skated to a victory against the Red Wings, but that’s hardly an accomplishment considering how bad Detroit is this season.

Let’s look at some keys to the game for tonight.

Top Line Scoring

Not to get all Toronto media on the situation, but the top line hasn’t exactly been on fire in the last few games. Our superstar, Nathan MacKinnon, hasn’t had a goal since before the All Star break. *gasp!

Mikko “Mega-Bucks” Rantanen is fourth on the team for scoring despite being the best-paid player by a long mile.

Gabriel Landeskog only has 23 points (13 goals, 10 assists) on the year, putting him at #10 on the team. That’s practically Tyson Jost-esque. (sic)

We need to see the top line being the driving force of the team.

Power Play

Keep working on it, boys! Even though the Colorado Avalanche earned a power play goal against the Ottawa Senators, the unit itself looked sloppy.

I deliberately use the singular there because Colorado really only uses one power play unit comprise of Nathan MacKinnon, Nazem Kadri, Gabriel Landeskog, Mikko Rantanen, and Cale Makar. Every now and again Valeri Nichushkin or Sam Girard might get a few seconds on the PP.

Yeah, that’s obviously a sound strategy that puts the Avalanche at #16 in the NHL.

Goalie Battle

The Colorado Avalanche have a tough time with backup goalies and tenders making their debut. Last night Elvis Merzlikins played in the win over Detroit, so we might see Joonas Korpisalo in net. That’s ok because he’s the main goalie in Columbus right now.

If we see Elvis, though, Colorado might struggle. For whatever reason, the Avs make backup and rookie goalies look good.

Meanwhile, we should expect to see both of our tenders this weekend. Philipp Grubauer has gotten all three starts on the roadie so far. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him sitting in today’s game so he can face the Minnesota Wild.

Next: National Girls and Women in Sports Day

How to Enjoy the Game

Game Time: Feb. 8, 5:00 pm MT
TV: ALT2, FS-O (Jackets’ feed)
Radio: Altitude Radio (FM 92.5/AM 950)


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