by Grant Harmacek

The Colorado Avalanche play host to the San Jose Sharks tonight at the Pepsi Center in Denver, puck drops 8:00 pm Mountain time.  This is the first game since the team fell to the Vancouver Canucks last Sunday, and will be the last game before the anticipated Stadium Series outdoor game at Coors Field against the Red Wings.

Tonight’s game will see the debut of several players acquired at the recent trade deadline, most notably for the Avalanche Shawn Matthias.  The 6’4″ center will be playing against two former teammates, Roman Polak and Nick Spalding, all previously of the Toronto Maple leafs.

According to reports, Matthias will skate on a line with Carl Soderberg and Blake Comeau.  Hopefully the speed of Comeau and the craftiness of Soderberg can use the size and power of Matthias to generate points.

They will certainly need it against a stout San Jose team that has won two out of three games played between the two teams this year.  Colorado’s sole win against the Sharks came on December 28 on the back of a Nathan MacKinnon hat trick.

The Avalanche are desperate for points, having fallen 3 behind Nashville, and are barely clinging to the final wildcard playoff spot.  The surging Minnesota Wild, a familiar nemesis, are within striking distance with only two points separating them from the Avalanche.  If Colorado wants to remain in the playoff picture they cannot afford to give up any points, especially at home.

It should be an exciting game!

Check in on’s twitter feed: @thegrandslamdnk for live in-game tweets and takes!