Jared Bednar said after the game that the end result doesn’t matter all that much in the preseason, but I’m sure he’s happy his Colorado Avalanche walked away with a 4-3 victory over the Dallas Stars.
Riley Tufte, Devon Toews, Fredrik Olofsson, and Oskar Olausson scored for the Avalanche, with Olausson winning the game on a beautiful shot in overtime. The Stars scored two goals late to tie it up and send it to overtime, forcing us into the worst possible outcome – preseason overtime.
And it was chaotic, to say the least. Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen didn’t take many shifts late in the game, but when overtime started, they wanted their chance. And they created plenty of opportunities, but couldn’t quite finish things. That’s okay, because Olausson ended it after a nice drop pass from Jonathan Drouin.
But enough about the game. As Bednar said, the end result really does not matter. As I wrote this morning, the real battle on the team right now is for the fourth line center position.
After tonight, there’s a clear favorite.
Fredrik Olofsson, who I already had winning the job, scored a nice goal, played a role in the opening goal of the game, and was used in all situations. He led the team with five shots on net, and was slightly better in the face-off circle than he had been the previous two games.
On the flip side, Ben Meyers was on the ice for two goals against, missed a few glorious chances, and took an offensive zone penalty late. He hasn’t looked poor in any of the games, at least to my eyes, but I think the gap widened a bit today.
— HockeyStatCards (@hockeystatcards) October 2, 2023
The Avalanche will likely make some cuts tomorrow, according to Bednar, to get the roster down to a more manageable number. The game on Tuesday will likely be a mix of veterans and AHL players, like tonight, while the final preseason game will be the true warm-up. Expect Colorado to dress a roster on Thursday that could very easily be the group of 18 we see on opening night.
- There was no update on Maros Jedlicka after the game. He left in the second period, favoring his left arm, after he tried to hit Mason Marchment.
- More from the locker room soon, but Bednar had high praise for Drouin and said he was really happy with the first line.