The Colorado Avalanche face the Sharks in San Jose on the second game of their three-game roadie. It’s also the first game of a back-to-back.
The Colorado Avalanche didn’t get even a point against the Vancouver Canucks. So, their points streak and road wins streak ended in Vancouver.
They can rekindle it tonight against the Sharks. Provided, that is, there’s a game. San Jose’s county, Santa Clara, has been affected by the coronavirus going around. Top health officials have recommended canceling sporting events where a large group of people congregate.
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At the time of writing, though, the Sharks were still under the announcement that they’d be hosting all weekend games as planned.
Side note: Media is no longer allowed in the dressing rooms to protect the athletes from the coronavirus.
Anyway, let’s move under the assumption that the Avs are playing tonight and that they can win.
The coaching staff — Jared Bednar — iced a lineup against the Vanucks. I don’t think it was the best lineup they could ice. They benched Nikita Zadorov, Colorado’s most physical defenseman.
And the Canucks had breakaway after breakaway in between trying to rough up the Avs. Especially when Bednar benched Ian Cole in the same game.
Yeah, let’s get over the ego and ice the best lineup possible each night.
In a similar vein, the Colorado Avalanche’s defense was pretty shabby in Vancouver. Sure, lot of that had to do with icing four NHLers and a couple bubble players.
However, the Avs simply weren’t committed to defense against the Canucks. The Sharks aren’t as good a team as Vancouver, but they’re a big, heavy team. The Avalanche need to shut them down.
Goalie Pavel Francouz didn’t get a lot of help. (See above.) However, he also wasn’t great. He recorded a .792 save percentage. When the injured, coach-depleted Avs needed him to steal the game, he did not.
I believe Francouz can have a bounce-back game, if he’s the goalie tonight. And I don’t mind Michael Hutchinson if he gets the nod. Whichever goalie minds the net needs to be a little more solid than what we saw in Vancouver.
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Game Time: Mar. 8, 8:00 pm MT
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