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Lines Shuffled For Broadway Matchup

by Ryan Boulding / Colorado Avalanche

The Colorado Avalanche is looking to shake things up after consecutive losses to the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Islanders to kick off a four-game road trip along the East Coast.

“I was not very pleased with our performance,” head coach Patrick Roy said of Tuesday’s game during his weekly interview on The Fan Morning Show on 104.3 The Fan. “It’s something that we’re not happy [with], and we’re certainly looking at options. We know what we have to do. I think our defensemen [are] doing a good job. I think our goalies [are] doing a good job. Obviously, our forwards need to go back to basics. They have to find ways to score some goals.

“We need to simplify our game. We’re looking for the perfect play all the time.”

Alex Tanguay

The easiest way for Roy to get fresh results is to shuffle his line pairings, which he plans to do for tonight’s contest against the New York Rangers. Alex Tanguay (six goals, three assists), a staple of success on the third line, will now be playing alongside Matt Duchene (four goals, six assists) and Ryan O'Reilly (two goals, seven assists).

“Tanguay’s playing really well. He’s probably our best player since the start of the season,” said Roy of his former teammate. “We’re going to try to use Alex with Ryan and Matt. Hopefully, he’s going to help them get their game where it should be.”

From there, the third line will be further absorbed upwards as John Mitchell (two goals, two assists) will center Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog (four goals, two assists) and veteran goalscorer Jarome Iginla (two goals, seven assists).

“Same thing, Mitchell has been playing really well with Tanguay and [Dennis] Everberg,” said Roy. “We’re going to give a chance to Mitchy to play with Landy and Jarome. Hopefully, he can get them to another level.”

Daniel Briere
Center  - COL
Goals: 2 | Assists: 1 | Pts: 3
Shots: 13 | +/-: -2
Nathan MacKinnon (four goals, six assists) is slotted to pick up Mitchell’s position on the third line, playing between Jamie McGinn (four goals, two assists) and Daniel Briere (two goals, one assist), who will return to the lineup after missing the previous seven contests as a healthy scratch.

“MacKinnon will play with McGinn on the third line and we’re going to bring back Briere,” said Roy. “I think he deserves to play. He’s been working hard in practice, and I think it’s good for Dennis to take a break.”

While Roy admits that Everberg doesn’t necessarily deserve to be a healthy scratch, he said that he doesn’t feel that benching a point-producing forward for lack of production is the right way to go about reigniting the club’s past successes.

Instead, he said his job is to work with the players on finding an on-ice solution.

“This is a good hockey team. This is a good group. This is a group that wants to learn,” said Roy. “They want to learn, and it’s my job to help them.”

Semyon Varlamov will start in net.

The puck drops at Madison Square Garden at 5 p.m. MT.

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