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Morning Skate Diary

Final thoughts on last night’s Avalanche win, and a look ahead to tonight in Nashville

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Predators

No morning skate today in Nashville, where the Colorado Avalanche hope to avenge that Covid train wreck of a game there last month. So, I don’t have any fresh lineup information for the game, but I’ll go ahead and assume Darcy Kuemper will get the start against a Predators team that has won four in a row and has a two-point lead in the Central Division standings.

Of course, the Avs have FOUR games in hand on Nashville. But make no mistake, the Avs are going to want to win this one badly. They are definitely going to want to win this division again, along with the Western Conference, and get home-ice again for all rounds before the Finals.

This isn’t some do-or-die game for Kuemper, but obviously he’ll be watched pretty closely tonight, after being yanked in the first period Saturday night against Toronto.

I haven’t heard of any new injuries or Covid protocol additions, but…you never know anymore, right? Things can be sprung on you suddenly.

The Predators are 44-33-(5)-3 all-time against the Avalanche, including a 22-15-(3)-1 record at Bridgestone Arena. The Avs will catch the Predators without Filip Forsberg, who entered Covid protocol Saturday. Jusse Saros is slated to start in net for the Predators.

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About last night

I thought that was a real good win for the Avs, all things considered. Yeah, I know they had to come from behind to beat an expansion team, in the third period. But that game had “major letdown” all over it, and yet the Avs really took it to Seattle, and Philipp Grubauer, after falling behind 3-1.

It could have been real easy to just write that one off, and fall victim to the Curse of the Ex-Avs. But no, the Avs dug deep and got a win and spoiled any dreams of Groob coming in here and spoiling the night of his former team.

More thoughts:

  • Who would have thought Nicolas Aube-Kubel would have as nearly as many goals right now, as an Av, as Nathan MacKinnon (Kubel has four, MacK has five).
  • Of course, MacK has 34 points in 22 games. Not bad.
  • The Avalanche came from behind to win for the fifth straight game, including three multi-goal comebacks. It’s just the second time in franchise history that the Avalanche/Nordiques franchise has won five straight contests and won in each of those games (also: Nov. 24-Dec. 3, 1983).
  • No doubt, Jared Bednar wants his team to play with the lead a little more than this.
  • Nazem Kadri (1g/1a) recorded his 15th multi-point game of the season, trailing only Connor McDavid (18) and Alex Ovechkin (16) for the most among all players. Kadri’s game-winning goal was his second of the season. He is tied for fourth in the league with 46 points in 29 contests, while his 33 assists are tied for second (Jonathan Huberdeau). Only Connor McDavid (34 assists in 33 GP) has more.
  • Devon Toews notched his seventh goal of the season, ranked second among Avalanche defensemen. He leads all NHL blueliners in points-per-game (1.14) and plus-minus rating (+25).
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Adrian Dater - Kiss and Larry Bird fan. Writer with @Gambling and @Bookies, Avs Insider with 104.3 The Fan. Denver Post, SI, Bleacher Report alum, author of seven books.

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troian

AD-Great analysis as always. Exactly the type of game the Avs have frequently just let get away…and to do it without Landy, who has been playing well…Frankie’s save % wasn’t great, but he righted the ship and showed there is an on-hand alternative if DK continues to scuffle (looking for an optimistic interpretation, I seem to recall that Detroit had to get some mileage out of Osgood when they won that last Cup with Hasek when his play declined, to include carrying them in the post-season).

peter martin

Lets hope Helm and MacD can play more than 4m to help lighten the load of a B2B

GWood

I like the fact that they were down to a bad team and had to come back in the 3rd. It provides a lesson to keep in mind as we move forward. Keeps them on their toes. Love it.

bwebb

The AVS are horrible on Face-Offs and I think that is part of the PK & PP problem they are having. Fix that and watch those percentages improve. Also need to stop making predictable passes, especially without looking. Seems like the opponents sticks are more attractive than ours when trying to intercept a pass.

dk

Aube-Kubel indeed. On a night when the top line was getting it rammed down their throats pretty much every time they the O-zone, the third line was getting it the f*** done.

ricoflashback

I’d like to see EJ with minimal ice time tonight. Why they don’t monitor his minutes better I’ll never understand. I would have scratched him in favor of Murray. No back to back games for him. You need EJ for the playoff run. I thought Frankie made some incredible saves last night. Some unlucky deflections but that’s part of the game. So far, no “Roy” like performances by any goalie for the Avs in stealing a game. Saving it up for the playoffs, hopefully? Waiting for MAF or JQ to be available? : > )

Chris Krauss

Don’t get me wrong, I loved the result last night, but sure could’ve used a little of that ex-Avs curse love with Donskoi being +2700 to score a goal…

Bob Neal

I hope Terry is not going to defend that “too many men on the ice” call and say that there is no refereeing bias against the Avs. What a terrible call and why has this bozo called the last three Avs games. Who calls a stupid penalty like that in O/T when it is not close to being clear?

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