Hockey is back, ladies and gentleman! Preseason is now in full swing and our men of winter are decked out in all of our favorite sweaters. It’s christmas in September with a second Christmas in early October. For the Colorado Avalanche, one week is in the book of the preseason. The brought some highs and lows in three games, with a single victory against the Golden Knights in Las Vegas.
VGK 5-1 COL
To say the least, the opening game of preseason was a tough one to stomach at Pepsi Center. Semyon Varlamov looked pretty shaky in the two periods he played in net, allowing three goals on 24 shots. His play was that of a goaltender trying to find his goalie legs, which makes a lot of sense considering the multitude of injuries Varly faced last year, including one that kept him out of the postseason. Ghosts of previous years reared their ugly head in the game as well, as the Avalanche went 0-2 on the penalty kill. On the plus side, newly acquired left winger Matt Calvert got on the scoring sheet with an assist to Ryan Graves.
COL 0-7 MIN
It sucks to lose to a rival, no matter what time of the season or preseason it is. The Wild laid the smackdown on the Avs in the second game of the season. A silver lining for the full-ice tilt was that the Wild were playing a very large amount of starters they will place on the ice in the season, including: Zach Parise, Mikko Koivu and Jason Zucker. All of whom tallied goals. Charlie Coyle recorded the hattrick. Philipp Grubauer made his debut for the Avs, saving 26 of 33 shots faced. Not the start he was looking for. However, the offense was also non-existent for the Avalanche, only putting up 16 shots the entire game.
COL 5-3 VGK
The Avalanche finally found themselves on the winning end when the team travelled to Vegas to play their second game against the Golden Knights. With great performances from the first-round draft pick Martin Kaut, and an incredible showing in net by Pavel Francouz who made is his first North American debut, the Avalanche cruised past the Golden Knights despite a late third-period rally. Francouz finished the night saving 29 of the 32 shots he faced.
The Avs return home to take on Central Division rival, Dallas Stars on Wednesday before a rematch with the Wild on Friday before finishing up the preseason at home against Dallas again on Sunday.
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