How’s this for an amazing statement: for the first time all season, the Colorado Avalanche will enter tonight’s Game 1 against the Nashville Predators fully healthy. Well, maybe.
Nazem Kadri will be a game-time decision to play tonight, starting at 7:30 at Ball Arena (game is on ESPN and won’t be blacked out locally, as Altitude TV did a very nice thing and lifted the blackout, even though they are broadcasting the game too).
Jared Bednar said “we’ll see” when asked if he thinks Kadri will play. He also said he won’t divulge his lineup to the media, as that’s “No advantage for me” doing that. I think that’s smart, myself. If I were a coach, I wouldn’t tell the media boo about any lineup plans.
Kadri skated this morning, in a regular jersey. He’s a tough guy, so my money is on him playing.
We do know, though, that Darcy Kuemper will start in goal. No surprise there. David Rittich will be the opposing goalie for the Predators, who enter tonight as whopping underdogs at SuperBook Colorado.
Ryan Murray apparently is cleared to play again, though it’s not expected that he’ll play tonight.
The fact that this is the first time all year that Bednar could have all his players available is pretty remarkable. We’ll see how long that lasts.
The Avs really have a lot of pressure on them. A lot of pressure. And I think that’s especially true with these first two games. There are murmurs out of Nashville that Juuse Saros may be available starting with Game 3. So, if the Avs fail to get these first two games, they would be going into a hornet’s nest at Bridgestone Arena, against a team with a “nothing to lose” attitude with their top goalie back.
So, let’s see what the Avs are really made of, starting with tonight.
- OK, I have more people to thank here, for donating to the Avs Travel Tip Jar. They are: John Hayes, Louis Dunaway, David McKinnis, David Koenst, Adam Hunter, Myles Edwards and Kenton Murphy. They have all contributed in the last 24 hours, and I can’t express enough my gratitude. I’m very scrupulous on how ever dollar is spent on road travel. I can promise you I am economical with things on the road – and so is Terry Frei (not as much as me, but, hey, nobody is). Even when I had a big, fat Denver Post corporate credit card to use on the road for 20 years there covering the Avs, I always parked in the economy lot at DIA, sometimes took SHUTTLE BUSES to save on cab/rental car fare, always stayed at the lowest Marriott rate I could find and ate a lot of cheap takeout. Or, I’d make my own food in economy hotels that had a stove/oven. I did it all the time. Still do.
- You help make it possible for us to cover more stuff. I also am very scrupulous about donating 5% of every dollar to the Thornton Food Bank. I will be making a nice-sized donation there later this week – and I put in money on top of yours, too. It’s been awesome making some really good-sized food donations there the last three years while we’ve been running this here small shop. You’re literally helping feed hungry people. I know a couple people who work there, and, trust me, all of the money goes to food and all of it gets eaten by people who need it. I live in Thornton, and I see it.
- The Tip Jar is always open (link here).
- I definitely got what, I would like to say as “smart frugality” but others might call “tightass”, from my beloved mother. We had no money when I was a kid, and I think my mom explained why she kept the thermostat at 60 even in the frigid New Hampshire winters and, would literally hear it with her supersensory hearing if anybody moved it even one degree higher, with something like “Every time that flow of air comes through the vent, that’s money literally out the door/window. That’s what they made blankets for.”
- Don’t forget: While the game is being broadcast by Altitude and their crew, the game also will be broadcast on ESPN – with no local blackout. Altitude lifted the blackout, which they deserve a ton of credit for doing.