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A McGinn Family Affair

by Ron Knabenbauer / Colorado Avalanche

Tonight might be a first for the McGinn family, two brothers playing against one another and doing it in the NHL.

You see, Colorado Avalanche forward Jamie McGinn's younger brother Tye—the middle child of the three McGinns—is a member of the San Jose Sharks and could be in the lineup for this evening's contest between the two clubs at Pepsi Center.

"I've grown up in the game knowing that you can't control anything, and we can just hope for the best and hope that it happens," said Jamie McGinn, who didn't know if Tye would play after morning skate. "We'll see tonight."

Tye McGinn has been a healthy scratch in three of the last four contests, but with Sharks winger John Scott suspended for two games and with the younger McGinn being the only other forward on San Jose's active roster, odds are pretty good he'll play tonight.

A brief moment on the ice with Tye would be ideal for Jamie, but he said his main focus in the game is to help the Avalanche get a win and build on its current three-game unbeaten streak.

Some of the McGinn family after arriving in Denver with Jamie (left) and Tye (right) in the back (Credit: mcginnj11 Instagram).

"I hope so. That would be great," Jamie said of playing at least one shift against Tye. "I'm sure my mom doesn't want that. Then they won't know who to cheer for. I'm looking forward to it. No matter what happens it would be awesome to see him, if he is on the bench at one moment or if I'm on the bench and he's out there. It would be great to watch him, but at the end of the day I have to focus on this team and winning this game."

Jamie and Tye were teammates with the Ottawa 67's of the Ontario Hockey League in 2007-08, but the brothers have never played against one another at any level of hockey. That makes doing it tonight a special moment for the brothers and the family, if it happens.

The McGinn clan of Fergus, Ontario will be in full force in the stands of Pepsi Center as Jamie flew out his parents, his grandparents on his mother's side and an aunt on his father's side to surprise Tye last night and hopefully watch the Avs-Sharks game with two McGinns on the ice.

But while it’s a brief fall vacation for the rest of the McGinns, the family fun will end for the brothers at the opening faceoff. There is a game to be won.

"Everyone is looking forward to it," Jamie said. "We had a nice family dinner last night, and today is all business."

STUART FACING FORMER TEAM

Tonight's game versus San Jose is nothing new for former Shark and current Avalanche defenseman Brad Stuart. Having played a previous stint with San Jose and with Boston, Calgary, Los Angeles and Detroit in his NHL career, Stuart is familiar with facing a former club but said it is still a bit of a weird feeling.

Stuart

"It's always a little strange playing against guys that you have played with in the previous season, but I've done it before and have a little bit of experience in that department," Stuart said. "Once the game starts, it is just another game."

He said that once he's on the ice, playing against former teammates goes to the back of the mind and the focus is on winning. The hardest part is just the stuff before the game.

"It is a little weird leading up to it, thinking about it, but once the game starts it is another game and you have to give your best effort and put all of those things behind you," he said.

Acquired in an offseason trade, Stuart has helped bring a veteran presence to the Avs blueline this season. He will likely be paired tonight with 23-year-old Tyson Barrie, which makes for a strong combination of defense, puck-moving ability and offensive attack.

MORE MORNING NOTES

- Head coach Patrick Roy confirmed after morning skate that he would use the same lineup as in the previous game against Winnipeg.

- Semyon Varlamov will make his third consecutive start in net this evening for Colorado.

- Tonight is the first of two meetings between the Avalanche and Sharks this season, and San Jose's only visit to Pepsi Center. The Avs will make their only trip to San Jose on April 1. The Sharks are the only Pacific Division team who will play the Avs twice in 2014-15 (the rest will play Colorado three times). Last year, Colorado and San Jose met four times, the only Pacific Division team to meet the Avs more than three times.

- Jarome Iginla has 51 points (27g/24a) in 65 games versus San Jose, second among active players behind Shane Doan (60 points).

- Alex Tanguay has a five-game point streak (3g/2a) and Tyson Barrie has a four-game point streak (1g/5a), one shy of his career long set Jan. 25 to Feb. 3, 2014.

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