So it’s official. Like we didn’t know it was happening, but sorry Brent Sutter, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will not be returning to the Red Deer Rebels. I think we can all agree that he’s been a pleasant surprise here. So has our defense and even… gasp… Nikolai Khabibulin, who really stole a game for us last night against the “best team in the NHL” – the formerly undefeated Washington Capitals who had been averaging close to 4 goals per game. Great work by the Wall, who at least temporarily won fans over. Hopefully that trend continues.
I’m not sure, but I have to figure that Dubnyk starts tonight, being a back to back. I think he’ll play well, but with the Oilers being tired from a shortened rest between games, I think this one could be a loss and the Avalanche will regain #1 spot in the Northwest. That’s right, I said regain, as currently that spot belongs to the Oilers (by tie breaker). I’m not thinking too much of that though, as really it’s way too early in the year, but this has been one of their best starts to a season in quite some time, despite missing services of key players Ryan Whitney and Ales Hemsky.
Prediction: 3-1 Avalanche