TAMPA, Fla. - Hello from the Fairfield in St. Petersburg, just across the pond from Tampa, where YOUR Avalanche play the No. 1 Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena. What is Amalie, you ask? It's a motor oil.
Two....wait for it....well-oiled machines will meet tonight in a showdown of sorts. Tampa Bay is a damn good hockey club and the Avs will have to bring their 'A' game to beat these guys.
A couple of lineup notes for the Avs: Sven Andrighetto is back in. He'll replace Gabriel Bourque up front, probably on a line with Kamenev and Calvert.
Semyon Varlamov is back in net, after allowing six goals to Pittsburgh Tuesday night. The Three-Headed Monster is back together. Coach Jared Bednar spent some time visiting with Mikko Rantanen at the morning skate. If I had to guess what they were talking about, I'd say that Bednar wants him to keep putting pucks on net, not just looking for the first pass. Not a big deal, as Rants is the top-scoring player in the league right now.
Louis Domingue will be in goal for Tampa Bay, with No. 1 Andrei Vasilevski sidelined with a broken foot.
This will finish up the four-game road swing. Friday, the team has a beach volleyball game. I hear Big Z was a force.
I have four clips for your auditory pleasure from the room this morning. It's just uncut audio with players and Bednar.
Let's start with a visit with Tyson Barrie, a conversation that starts off with my asking him what's made the power play so good this year. Colorado, after all, has the top-ranked PP unit in the league, at 30.9 percent.