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Morning Skate Diary

Avalanche lineup for tonight against New York Islanders



Jack Johnson will play in his 1,000th NHL game tonight, in the Avalanche home contest with the New York Islanders.

Johnson will join Adam Foote, Todd Gill, Milan Hejduk, Ian Laperriere, Patrick Roy, Joe Sakic, Brad Stuart and Alex Tanguay as the only players to appear in their 1,000th NHL contest as a member of the Avalanche.

Kelsey Hammond will have a nice feature on JJ tonight. A lot of hockey media laughed when the Avs signed JJ to a PTO contract in training camp. They’re not laughing much anymore. He’s had a very good season. He’s just played simple, meat-and-potatoes hockey. He’s made the Avs’ defense bigger and tougher in front of the net. The Avs will have a short ceremony for JJ before the game. Players who hit 1,000 games traditionally get a silver stick from the team/league.

It should be a great night for a really good guy.

This should be the lines and D pairs for tonight. Jared Bednar continues to have Andre Burakovsky up on the first line, presumably to keep his current output (two goals in last two games) going. I’m going to assume Bednar will have Gabe Landeskog back with MacKinnon and Rantanen before too long.

The Avs, in my opinion anyway, have the division and Western Conference crown already locked up. So, this is a good time for Bedsy to experiment some. I agree with those, including colleague Terry Frei, who say the Landeskog-MacKinnon-Rantanen line shouldn’t be messed with much longer.

The lines:







J. Johnson-Girard

Murray-E. Johnson

Darcy Kuemper gets the start.

NOTEBOOK: So, Jost is back in after being scratched a game. MacDermid gets the scratch this time. … The Islanders’ Mat Barzal and Zdeno Chara were not at the morning skate today. Barzal, the Isles’ most talented forward, suffered a lower-body injury Sunday in San Jose. … Ilya Sorokin – not Semyon Varlamov – will start in goal for the Islanders. … Avs are -290 favorites to win the game, at SuperBook Colorado. … Bo Byram skated again this morning. Fingers crossed.

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