The Colorado Avalanche came in amidst a 3 game losing streak. After the game they handed that baton to the defending champs in 4-3 shotout win.Embed from Getty Images
The Colorado Avalanche finished their East Coast road trip with a shootout win over the Tampa Bay Lightning, the defending back-to-back Stanley Cup champions. Both teams were in a rut and came out with high energy. The Avalanche were on their first power-play barely 30 seconds into the contest. And the high-energy chippiness never waivered.
The Lightning had the right game plan, using their size and aggression against the smaller Avs squad. They outhit Colorado 43-32 and the Avalanche ended up with 7 power-plays when all was said and done. But this Colorado Avalanche squad showed the resilience and 5-on-5 dominance that took them to the President’s Trophy a year ago.Embed from Getty Images
Darcy Kuemper was able to get to a .900 save percentage on 29/32 shooting by the Lightning. The Avs have two wins so far, both have Kuemper with a .900+ save%. One of those goals would have knocked this team off-kilter during their 3-game losing streak. It was the first goal by Mathieu Joseph, his first point of the season, that he smacked out of mid-air and squabbled past a sprawled-out Darcy. It was great to see Kuemper bounce back and show some resilience after back-to-back sub-par performances and a day-off against Florida as we discussed in our preview.
Looks like Nathan MacKinnon and Gabriel Landeskog read the preview as well. They came into this game with 1 goal and 2 assists between them. They ended the game with 5 points, 2 goals, in this game alone. And this doesn’t include the game-saving Landy shootout goal.Embed from Getty Images
Bo Byram and Cale Makar took another step. Cale was everywhere with 2 assists and 3 hits in 34 shifts, he was also responsible for the game-winning shootout goal after an Anthony Cirelli miss. Bo showed he’s not scared of anybody giving up 30-50 pounds against players like Pat Maroon and Victor Hedman without backing down an inch. He put the league on notice, you can’t bully the kid.
Although it was nice to see old friend Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, it was better to shut him out of the boxscore outside of 1 SOG. But it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows for the Avs. They were outshot 32-27 when it comes to SOGs. They were only 1-7 on the power-play. And they lost the face-off battle as well as being outhit as mentioned before. So there is definitely still plenty for Bednar to harp on their two off-days.Embed from Getty Images
But let’s not nitpick too much, and just enjoy the fact this squad finally showed their dominance outside of one unlucky goal in the second period as mentioned before, and a late let-down that allowed Brayden Point to score his second goal of the season at the 17:25 mark in the 3rd. In between those 2 plays, this Avs squad showed resilience and physicality that was lacking in the previous 3 matches.
It was also crappy to see Sam Girard hit the injured list after a horrible hit that should have drawn a boarding penalty. The hit was almost identical to the one that got The Captain ejected and suspended. Yet nary a whistle within earshot. But again, unlike the last three contests, this Avs squad responded and fought for the victory instead of sulking and rolling over.Embed from Getty Images
Next on the docket is division rival Las Vegas Golden Knights, that resilience will be paramount to this Avalanche team turning this much-needed victory into a winning streak.
vs Las Vegas Golden Knights Tuesday, October 26 @ 6:00 PM MST
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