A little late as the celebrations from a win caused some delay to forecasting how we're going to go 3-0 this week as we work our way back into the playoff race, okay maybe 2 wins is more realistic.
Saturday December 4th, 7:00 vs Colorado
Season record: 12-7-1, 5th in Central
Last 10: 8-2
Previous meetings this season: 7-5 Colorado win Nov 22nd
Series record since 2019-20: 3-0 Colorado
- Darcy Keumper Day to Day, Upper Body
- Bowen Byram Day to Day, Head
- Ryan Murray IR, Lower Body
- Pavel Francouz LTIR, Ankle
- JT Compher IR, Upper Body
- Stefan Matteau LTIR, Leg
Yes they are still getting hit hard by injuries, yes they are still loaded with a bevy of All-Stars and potential Olympians so they are doing just fine. I think the biggest takeaway from the last game is that it was a high scoring thriller, and that the Avs scored 6 on Gus without Nathan Mackinnon which is terrifying. For all the star power on the team Nazem Kadri is still has the hottest stick with 19 point in his last 9 games and has been held off the scoresheet only once in his last 14 games. With Nathan Mackinnon back from injury and looking like he never left with 3 points in 2 games the Avs might be the scariest team in the league right now.
Did I mention Cale Makar yet? Oh, well he's only leading all defencemen in points per game, minimum 10 games played, with 21 in 18 games and with the help of 2 goals in our last meeting leads defenceman with 10 goals. It's almost absurb going through their defence and how young and skilled they are with 3 regulars under the age of 23 and 2 more aged 27 and 28. To rub a little more salt in the wound if Byram plays just remember 2 of their top 4 are a pair of defencman they got for trading Duchene away.
The one chance the Sens will have in this game is that the Avs might be starting their 3rd strong goalie in Jonas Johansson who has a 3-2-1 record and has a GAA of 3.47 in 5 starts and 2 relief appearances. The 4th string goalie is Justus Annunen, a 2018 3rd round pick who came over to North America last year and has 17 AHL starts and won AHL goalie of the month in November. So yes somehow Colorado is also unfairly deep between the pipes because their offensive and defensive core pieces and depth weren't good enough, and if you'll excuse me I need to go place a bet on them to win the cup.
Monday December 6th, 7:00 at New Jersey
Season record: 9-9-4, 6th in Metro
Last 10: 2-6-2
Previous meetings this season: None
Series record since 2019-20: 1-0-2
- Miles Wood IR, Hip
- Christian Jaros IR, Hand
- Tyce Thompson IR, Shoulder
I mean I feel like I could very much copy and paste the preview from when this game was originally be played before the league delayed the game but things have gone south in Jersey. The devils have lost 8 of their last 10 including 6 of 8 since the cancelled game. Unsuprisingly a long losing streak is tied to struggles at both ends of the ice. They've scored more than 2 only 4 times and only more than 3 in 3 games, winning 2 while losing the other 8-4. Defensively it hasn't gone much better allowing less than 3 in only 1 game which shockingly was a win, kind of funny how that works.
If you thought we've had a rough go with our rotating roster, New Jersey has used 2 few skaters but has started 4 goalies already this year. Mackenzie Blackwood is the regular starter but between him and Jonathan Bernier New Jersey will probably continue to use both as they both have a GAA above 3 and SV% below .906.
After starting the ywar with 12 points in 14 games Jesper Bratt has significantly cooled with only 1 point in 8 games. Another forward struggling to find consistency is Andreas Johnsson who has 7 points in 9 games but 6 of those came in 2 games. The one player still getting on the score sheet is their leading scorer Jesper Bratt who has 8 points in 7 games as the former 6th round pick in 2016 continues to be a steal of a pick. This game would have been nice while the wheels were falling off for Ottawa but maybe now it can help torque the tires back onto the car.
Tuesday December 7th, 7:00 vs New York Islanders
Season record: 5-10-3, 8th in Metro
Last 10: 1-8-1
Previous meetings this season: None
Series record since 2019-20: 1-2
- Brock Nelson IR, Lower Body
- Ryan Pulock LTIR, Lower Body
- Zdeno Chara COVID Protocols
- Kieffer Bellows Day to Day, returning from COVID
- Casey Cizikas COVID Protocols
- Ross Johnston Day to Day, returning from COVID
Another team with a depleted roster is on the schedule but by the time we play them everybody will be off the COVID list pending test results and being physically fit to play. The Islanders I would say are the top pick for weirdest start to the season and not all of it has to due wiuth COVID. They started with 13 road games as they finsihed building their new arena which began with a 5-2-2 start before the travel caught up with them. They have lost 9 in a row, including all 5 games in their new arena but that coincided with the begining of their COVID outbreak which tore apart their roster and not every organization can be lucky enough to have Ottawa's depth of okay options.
With Barry Trotz on the bench a goalie putting up great stats, Ilya Sorokin has a 2.39 GAA and .929 save percentage, and a limited offence with Brock Nelson leading the team with 11 points, tied with recent healthy scratch Tyler Ennis for perspective. They have only had 6 players dress for every game but an offence averaging less than 2 goals a game is pretty putrid but with so many lineup changes that might improve as they ice a consistent lineup.
Honestly if the team wanted to make some noice and feel good about themselves before a few days off a pair of wins and a close game in Colorado would do wonders for confidence.