When the game started the Colorado Avalanche had a season 2-2 record after their 5-1 beating of the Minnesota Wild on Thursday in Ball Arena.
Then they entered the Saturday matinee matchup picking right up where they left off beating the Wild 6-0. And Grubauer must have taken that one goal given up personally as he stopped all 31 shots sent his way. It all started at 16:45 to go in the 1st-period as the Avalanche got their 1st Power-Play of the game. Cale Makar of the Colorado Avalanche scored on a wrister from the high slot at 15:47 to go in the 1st, bouncing off the left post and in.
Watch just how sweet it was from the kid courtesy of the Colorado Avalanche Social Team:
Gabriel Landeskog scored the 2nd goal of the game and first of 3 points on the night at 8:47 left in 1st. Even though Landy got a little handsy almost brushing his top-shelf shot off the goalie’s shoulder before inertia took it to the net on its own. As a result, Nathan MacKinnon got an assist on his way to his own 3-point game. As well as Cale Makar’s 2nd point in his own multi-point contest:
Watch below courtesy of the Colorado Avalanche Social Team:
The first true scoring chance for the Wild came with 5:37 to go in the 1st when they were able to uncork 2 shots on goal with bodies falling everywhere in front of the crease. Philipp Grubauer was able to stone both attempts though. As a result, Clearing the zone on the second with a poke check save. Their only other real opportunity came At 7:06 to go in the 3rd. But yet again Gru makes 2 consecutive saves as bodies fall in all directions and wearing both colors.
The Wild got a Power Play at the 5-minute mark in the 1st. The Avalanche killed it with 4 amazing saves by Gru. Including a fully sprawled-out superman rejection while diving from the left side of the crease to the right. There was no doubt from the opening whistle just how much this game meant in the standings as calm aggression seemed to permeate the roster. With this win, the Avs were able to crawl their way into 2nd place in the West Division. Just 3 points behind the Las Vegas Golden Knights.
Listen to Gru discuss the performance in his post-game interview courtesy of the Colorado Avalanche Social Team:
After yet another penalty kill and more aggressive play to close the first the Avalanche lead the wild 2-0. Then the 2nd period started and the onslaught commenced. Mikko Rantanen at just over a minute into the 2nd scored with the assist of the crossbar and post. The assist went to Grubauer for his 2nd of the season. This tied him for the most ever by an Avalanche goaltender with Calvin Pickard who accomplished the feat in the 2016-17 season.
Watch below to see how a goalie gets points courtesy of the Colorado Avalanche Social Team:
Then just 21 seconds later Tyson Jost gets in on the action as he sends a one-timer to the back of the net putting the Avs up 4-0. The Wild barely showed any fight after this goal. Landeskog took a penalty at 4:41 to go in the 2nd, the Wild’s third Power Play of the game. The Avalanche continued their show of synergy and calm aggression as they killed it with suffocating pressur. With a couple of “easy” saves by Gru thrown in. The Avalanche allowed only 2 shots on goal or less on all 4 Penalty Kills.
At 1:13 left in the 2nd-period Devin Toews took a cross-pass from Nathan MacKinnon and chipped the puck off the left post and in. This appeared to be the dagger that seemed to suck all life out of Minnesota.. Therefore the assist went to MacKinnon after nifty skating at the offensive blue line opened a hole he exploited with said pass to Toews who was trailing perfectly. Avs 5, Wild 0 after 2 periods of hockey.
Colorado Avalanche Gear
There must be something with Colorado and Kaapo Kähkönen. As the only 2 games he has given up at least 5 goals have come this season against the Avalanche. The last coming in their matchup on January 30th of this year. But the Avalanche gave the Wild a chance to get back in it as Nichuskin took a penalty with .3 seconds left in the 2nd.
Which means the Avalanche began period 3 on the penalty kill. The Av’s did not allow a shot on goal during penalty kill. Putting the Wild at 0-3 on Power Plays for the night at that point. Then just a few minutes later at 15:07 to go in the 3rd period, the 6th goal is scored by Valeri Nichushkin after some strong skating up the left side of the rink and a sweet flick over the pad to the back of the net.
Watch the poetry in motion courtesy of the Colorado Avalanche Social Team:
On the ensuing face-off Joseph Cramarossa gets a 10 min major and ejected for slashing JT Compher. This would not end the penalty chances for both teams for the night. Greenway of the Wild would get a 2:00 minor at 10:00 to go in the 3rd of no consequence. Even though Minnesota had 4 PP’s to Colorado’s 2. The Wild outpaced the Avalanche in penalty minutes 14-8 thanks to this indiscretion. With Colorado leaving the contest with the only PPG. As the NHL’s 2nd ranked penalty kill (Avs at 87.1%) showed its strength once again.
All in all the Colorado Avalanche beat the Minnesota Wild 6-0, with all 6 goals coming from 6 different scorers. And outscored them 11-1 overall in the 2-game set. You wouldn’t know the Minnesota Wild were riding a 5-game winning streak coming into the 2-game set this past Thursday night. After the thrashing they were handed by this ascending roster you may assume they were a bottom dweller. Not the 2nd place team in the division coming in.
The Colorado Avalanche offense that is currently ranked 13th in Goals For (91) and 13th in Power Play % (23.5) is heating up and can easily climb into the top-10 with just couple more performances like tonight. And add in the 3rd best defense in Goals Against (65, all numbers courtesy of Yahoo! Sports) and a red-hot goalie on a 6-game win streak coming off a shutout that came with an assist. Therefore the rest of the league better take notice over the second-half of the season. As the Avalanche has begun, with nothing to even slow it in the way it seems.
Avalanche have an off-day Sunday before taking on the Arizona Coyotes in a back-to-back on Monday and Tuesday 7:00 PM MST and 7:30 PM MST respectively.
You can tune in on Altitude TV or Altitude Sports Radio 92.5 for the broadcast. Check local listings.