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Sebastian Hedley-Noble The Hockey Writers

Published on Saturday, December 10, 2016





Preview: An Avalanche in Montreal

The Colorado Avalanche are heading North where they will face-off against the Montreal Canadiens in the first meeting between the two teams.

Colorado has a pretty nice all-time record against the Canadiens at 16-7-3-0, so they’ll be looking to add another W in that column tonight.

Calvin Pickard, Colorado Avalanche, Fantasy Hockey

(Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports)

The Avalanche have to take it to the injury riddled Canadiens right from the start. First periods have been Colorado’s worst enemy to start the season, time to correct that if they hope to turn this ship around.

If the last two games are anything to go by, this team is starting to play more consistent hockey, and tonight is another big opportunity to prove that.

I thought it was a real big effort last night in Boston, and it’s something that we’re hopefully going to build on here. We have to build on it. We have to finish this road trip off on a good note and finish off strong. – Jared Bednar

It’s Hockey Night in Canada against one of the NHL’s best teams for the Avalanche, what a great moment to show exactly how well they can play the game.

Colorado Avalanche at Montreal Canadiens

Bell Centre – 7 p.m. EST

Broadcast channels – TVAS, SN360, CITY, and ALT

2016-17 Season Series: First meeting of the season

Colorado Avalanche – 10-14-1 – 21 Points

Road Record: 6-6-0

Hot Players: Nathan MacKinnon, Matt Duchene, Mikko Rantanen

Key Injuries: Erik Johnson

Projected lines:


Matt Duchene – John Mitchell – Mikko Rantanen

Rene Bourque – Nathan MacKinnon – Blake Comeau

Gabe Landeskog – Carl Soderberg – Mikhail Grigorenko

Andres Martinsen – Joe Colborne – Jarome Iginla


Nikita Zadorov – Tyson Barrie

Francois Beauchemin – Patrick Wiercioch

Fedor Tyutin – Cody Goloubef

Starting Goaltender

Calvin Pickard

Montreal Canadiens – 18-6-3 – 39 Points

Home Record: 13-1-1

Hot Players: Carey Price and Max Pacioretty

Key Injuries: Alex Galchenyuk, David Desharnais, Greg Pateryn

Projected lines:


Max Pacioretty – Thomas Plekanec – Alexander Radulov

Paul Byron – Torrey Mitchell – Brendan Gallagher

Artturi Lehkonen – Philip Danault – Andrew Shaw

Sven Andrighetto – Brian Flynn – Daniel Carr


Alexei Emelin – Shea Weber

Andrei Markov – Jeff Petry

Nathan Beaulieu – Zach Redmond

Starting Goaltender

Carey Price

Game Notes

1) Colorado will get a massive boost, as Captain Gabe Landeskog, who hasn’t played a game since November 15, will make his return to the lineup.

2) Tonight will be Iginla’s 1500th NHL game, a huge milestone, especially considering how hard Iginla has played the game throughout his amazing career. He will become the 16th player to ever do so, passing the great Mike Modano.

3) Colorado has played better on the road thus far, and will look to continue the strong play they showed in Boston which snapped a very disappointing six-game losing streak.

4) This is the first game of a back-to-back with Colorado traveling to Toronto right after tonight’s game to take on the young and exciting Maple Leafs Sunday evening.

5) Faceoffs could be a key to victory for the team. The Avs are second in the league in faceoff win percentage at 53.8 percent, while Montreal is ranked 25th with a 48.4 win percentage.

(Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports)

(Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports)

The Avalanche have played some disastrous hockey at times this season, though they’ve also shown the complete opposite with very strong games, beating some of the leagues best. They’ve just been very inconsistent, fix that and they won’t have to deal with six-game losing streaks any longer.

Beating the Bruins in Boston is a step, no more. Tonight they must do it all over again and get some confidence building throughout this organization.



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