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Morning Skate Diary

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




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.

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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