If an NHL preaseason game is played in Dallas, and it isn't televised, can we really draw any conclusions?
That was the case in the preseason opener against the Dallas Stars, as a rookie-heavy lineup for the Colorado Avalanche fell by a 5-2 score. With players like Matt Duchene, Paul Stastny, and Semyon Varlamov staying in Denver for this trip, the Avalanche started their top goaltending prospect Calvin Pickard in net against Stars starting netminder Kari Lehtonen.
Overall, there are positives to take away from this game. With a new emphasis on size and physicality, the Avalanche outhit the Stars by a 36-23 margin and dominated shots on goal with a 22-12 shots advantage through the first two periods. Dallas would close that gap to a respectable 30-25 gap with their three goal barrage in the third period at the expense of young Avalanche goalie Trevor Cann.
Top defensive prospect Tyson Barrie showcased his offensive ability, scoring a goal and an assist while on the power play. Forward Brad Malone increased his visibility in making the Opening Night roster with two points as well.
Colorado will continue the preseason with their home opener against the St. Louis Blues on Friday, September 23. Varlamov will get the start in net, and will be backed by the likely Opening Night starters.