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Morning Skate Diary

Colorado Avalanche Lineup Notes for Game 1 Tonight



Colorado Avalanche
David Zalubowski/AP

Let’s play some hockey again. When the puck drops tonight at Ball Arena, it’ll be the first Western Conference finals game in this town in 20 years, when the Detroit Red Wings were in town. Colorado Avalanche vs. Edmonton Oilers this time. 6 p.m. start tonight, on TNT (Wayne Gretzky and the rest of the crew will be broadcasting live, from Ball Arena).

As for the Avs’ lineup tonight, it’s looking like Andre Burakovsky stays in and Alex Newhook stays out. In other words, the same lineup as Game 6 in St. Louis. I think that makes the most sense, though it’s a tough break for Newhook. But that’s how deep this team is.


Superstreak Bonus!
  • The perspective from Edmonton (Edmonton Journal)
  • Avs fans should be ready to see Oilers goalie Mike Smith play the puck, a LOT. The veteran netminder can really handle the puck well, on his forehand and backhand. That saves a lot of wear and tear for his D-men. One thing that really hurt the Blues last series was losing the puck-handling abilities of Jordan Binnington. Ville Husso could only play pucks on his forehand, and the Avs were able to devise a forechecking scheme that took advantage of that. Smith makes any forechecking schemes harder.
  • “We’ve got to be very aware of that,” Jared Bednar said this morning, about Smith’s puck-handling skills. “We have a plan to forecheck, to keep it away from him, and a plan to forecheck if it goes to him. I’m not going to go into details.”
  • Avs are -185 favorites to win tonight, at SuperBook Colorado.
  • Avs are -250 to win the series.
  • Said Mikko Rantanen, who has just one goal in the playoffs: “I think it’s going in the right directions. Hasn’t been going in, but as I’ve said a million times before, it’s a team game. It’s the wrong time of the year to think about your personal stuff.”
  • Said Josh Manson, on the challenge of facing the Oilers: “Obviously, they’re very fast. We have to limit our turnovers. We have to possess pucks, throw pucks at the net and go to the net hard.”
  • This is the third playoff series with the Oilers in Colorado Avalanche history. Avs won in 1997, Oilers won in 1998.
  • Thanks to the following people for contributing to the Avs Travel Tip Jar last few days: Myles Edwards, Greg Hunter, Matthew Getzelman, Joey Suyeishi, Christopher Glaser and Curt Werner. The Tip Jar is always open – link here. Tomorrow, I am making a good-sized donation to the Thornton Food Bank with the 5% I set aside from every dollar donated. You’re helping feed hungry people, so thanks. I will add on with a matching donation of my own.

Terry Frei contributed to this report

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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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Love the pic above of Mike Smith giving Mikko a little booty grab to get him going for this series!

Gary Battman

One goal without a goalie! Hahahahahaha!

Charlie Anderson

lol yes

Donald Victory

Avs fans should be ready to see Oilers goalie Mike Smith play the puck, a LOT…

Which also translates to Kuemper need not handle the puck. His decisions and skills are below par…

Sean Washington

True that! DK is not so good handling the puck. Nor is Landeskog in knowing when to finish a game.


I don’t think this deserves so many downvotes (first and probably last time i would defend mister victory). Brodeur was really good puckhandler, and whenever Roy would try to match him, St Patty would screw up and get a goal against. Maybe even happened in the 01 Cup Finals? Darcy needs to just play his game and make the smart plays and not try to match.

Donald Victory

Hate = Love!

My record down votes is 15. Thank you so much!

I am honored and thrilled to strum so much pain with my fingers…and keep ’em coming!

Last edited 6 months ago by Donald Victory
Aaron Rud

Donald makes good points at times, but people just automatically downvote because he’s so obnoxious about it.

Donald Victory

Oh my…

Said MiAkko Rantanen, who has just one goal in the playoffs…

Yeah MiAkko, time of year to get stronger on the puck, power to the net, and lose that silly choking up on the stick nonesense. Your job is to play defense first and score. You have done neither.

At least he is aware he is MiAkko!

Gary Battman

True. Good thing ENG count, or he would have zero in 10 games. Total Miakko!

Sean Washington

10? OMG that is horrible for the highest paid player on the team.

Karl Keen

In these playoffs, even against the Predators, we were punished for every turnover we made in our own zone or due to poor line changes. We limit our mistakes to an impressive degree, but doesn’t change the fact that we were punished every single time. For some reason as well, we tend to let up in the final minutes of a period. No team is perfect and we will make mistakes, but hopefully this series Darcy makes the big save or we get a bit more lucky. If not, the Oilers definitely have players that will make us pay. I… Read more »

Sean Washington

Keen points. Exactly on moving around and on several goal he was not square. Had he been square on the Faulk goal it would have hit him in the shoulder. Some of the defense think they can edge like Makar when they cannot. They need to play defense all the time and forget about being what they cannot be. Miakko has been a huge disappointment to say the least.  Sure, he has assists and a goal without a goalie, but he needs to score goals.  No excuses, though I can hear them now being hatched. I cannot image that Makar… Read more »

Charlie Anderson

I always end up feeling stupid when I take issues with whatever Bednar and Sakic are up to, but NAK for Newhook just seems ridiculous in the context of this series. The last two series, sure, I get it. NAK is good except not scoring lately and no special teams. We need all the scoring we can get in this one. Bura plays PP and Newhook for PP and possibly even PK. Sucks we have too many quality players for the lineup (NOT!), but we need to try to outscore these guys hard with our depth and that’s Newhook and… Read more »

Karl Keen

Good point Charlie. I also wonder about Sturm. I thought he played well in the first round and it was understandable why Bednar took him out in 2nd round, but he offers something to this team. If LOC or Cogliano don’t utilize their speed to their advantage, I could see him coming in for either one or for NAK, but I agree that Newhook’s skill may be more important than NAK’s peskiness. I was wanting Compher benched though before game 6 though so thank god the coach doesn’t care what I think!

Sean Washington

LOL on JT. Where the hell did that come from? Hell, NAK could score three tonight, while Miakko does nothing!

Aaron Rud

I had just whined to my wife on Friday night about Compher , and he promptly scored. Maybe I’ll continue, and a few of these guys will cut loose.

Sean Washington

NAK is far more aggressive and physical than Newhook. We do not need anymore form of substance players. Sturm is sitting too. As AD said, depth!

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