Colorado Avalanche Gameday Preview: Thankful to be home

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Tonight, the Colorado Avalanche return home against the struggling Vancouver Canucks. They are moving in opposite directions and tonight might be an example of how much different the two teams are.

The two teams have been linked together with names that could move to the opposite team. Specifically, Bo Horvat has been a name thrown around as a possibility of joining the Avs should the Canucks continue to move in the wrong direction.

Colorado Avalanche

The Avs are obviously coming back from their three game road trip, where they took six out of a possible six points. This was thanks in part to a couple of stellar performances in the last couple of games after starting off rough against the Carolina Hurricanes last Thursday.

Their last game on the trip was a large 3-2 shootout win over the division rival Dallas Stars. It took a lot to get it done, but in they end they did it. Now, they return home with some new fire power.

Oskar Olausson was called up from the Colorado Eagles and is in place to make his NHL debut. With all the injures the Avs continue to deal with, Kevin MacDonald and his front office staff have almost nothing to lose to give these kids a chance to play. Let’s see how the 2021 first round pick does in his debut tonight at Ball Arena, while Sam Girard also looks to be returning.

Projected Lines:

Artturi Lehkonen (62) – Nathan MacKinnon (29) – Mikko Rantanen (96)

Alex Newhook (18) – Evan Rodrigues (9) – Martin Kaut (61)

Andrew Cogliano (11) – J.T. Compher (37) – Logan O’Connor (25)

Dryden Hunt (22) – Jayson Megna (12) – Oskar Olausson (27)

Devon Toews (7) – Cale Makar (8)

Sam Girard (49) – Josh Manson (42)

Jacob MacDonald (26) – Erik Johnson (6)

Vancouver Canucks

Vancouver is coming off a disappointing 5-4 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights on Monday night at home. They kick off a three-game road trip with a tough task in the Mile High City.

The Canucks have found life to be very different under a full-time Bruce Boudreau. While he came in last year and nearly led them to the playoffs, full-time there have been issues up and down the lineup.

How will they fare against the Stanley Cup champs? Can they find a way to upset the Avs as they did last year on the road again? It will be a tough task, but captain Bo Horvat will do what he can to make it happen.

Projected Lines

J.T. Miller (9) – Bo Horvat (53) – Nils Hoglander (21)

Andrei Kuzmenko (96) – Elias Pettersson (40) – Ilya Mikheyev (65)

Conor Garland (8) – Curtis Lazar (20) – Brock Boeser (6)

Dakota Joshua (81) – Nils Aman (88) – Vasily Podkolzin (92)

Oliver Ekman-Larrson (23) – Ethan Bear (74)

Quinn Hughes (43) – Luke Schenn (2)

Riley Stilllman (61) – Tyler Myers (57)

Goaltenders

For the Avs, it will be Pavel Francouz making the start as he looks to continue his dominance in the crease. Vancouver will go with their number one Thatcher Demko as he looks to turn around his season.

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