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Morning Skate Diary

Semyon Varlamov to start against old Avs mates tonight



EDISON, N.J. – Avalanche resume their three-game NY/NJ road trip tonight, with a game against the New York Islanders at the Nassau Coliseum. It’s the Avs’ first game here since 2014, and likely the last time they’ll ever play here. It’s a building with a lot of great history, the home of the Islanders dynasty of the early 1980s and the home of Julius Erving and the New York Nets of the 1970s.

Semyon Varlamov will start for the Islanders. We know a little bit about him, of course. He will be opposed by Pavel Francouz, who makes his first start since that bad game against Minnesota Dec. 27.

“I had a great eight years playing for the Colorado Avalanche,” Varlamov told the Islanders’ website. “Colorado is a beautiful state, there are a lot of things to do. What can I say, it’s probably one of the best spots in the United States to live, so I really enjoyed it there. The team was good and the organization was really good to me, really supportive. I always think positive about the time I spent in Colorado.”

This should be a fun one to watch. Then again…the Islanders are a tough defensive team, led by coach Barry Trotz. He gets his teams to check and play defense, and if the Avs fall behind early, it could be a long, frustrating night. The Avs have to check just as hard if they want to be successful against this type of team.

Valeri Nichushkin will return to the Avs lineup after missing a game because he was ill. Vladislav Kamenev comes out.

The Islanders have lost two in a row, but remain in the top 10 in the league in points.

See you from the the “Barn” tonight.

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