The Aves are another of those Western Conference teams the Rangers don't often face, and that is reason to be happy. Colorado is young, hungry and hard skating. They lost in six games to San Jose back in the spring in one of the more wild series of the playoffs. Their speed and skill was nicely bolstered by the stellar netminding of Craig "Ice Girls" Anderson.
Familiar Foes: Anderson for one, Adam Foote and Milan Hejduk for two and three. While they make up the veteran backbone, Paul Stastny is star at the heart. When healthy Stastny has shown that the apple didn't fall far from the tree as he has a lot of his dad's abilities as well as his drive and determination. Old familiars Scott Hannon, Kyle Quincey and John-Michael Liles add experience to the blueline as well. Peter Mueller came to Colorado at the deadline for Wojtek Wolski in what seems like one of the most even trades in NHL history as both players starred in their new locales.
N00bz: The Avalanche spent the summer hibernating. Well, not really; they just decided to stay the course and not waste money on mercenaries. They are giving their kids chances and that faith was rewarded last season by Chris Stewart, Matt Duchene, Ryan O'Reilly and Brandon Yip. This year's batch could include Ryan Stoa, Luke Walker (who was in Ranger camp last fall) and Kevin Shattenkirk.
Last Year: Sunday, January 31st, 3-1 win.
This Year: Monday, October 18th at MSG and Friday, November 19th in Colorado.
What They Mean To Blue: Not much more than four early season points. The first match-up is just the Rangers' fourth game of the year and the second is part of the first Rangers road trip off the east coast, in late November.