Nov 2, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Avalanche center Paul Stastny (26) and center Matt Duchene (9) celebrate the win over the Montreal Canadiens at the Pepsi Center. The Avalanche defeated the Canadiens 4-1. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

What We Learned: Avalanche - Canadiens

A wonderful ceremony and 60 minutes of energized hockey later, the Avs are 12-1-0.

The game wasn’t without some letdowns: Alex Tanguay left midway through with an apparent knee injury after colliding with Gabriel Landeskog. We’re not sure where he’s at; hopefully he’ll be ready for Wednesday night’s tilt with Nashville. Speaking of injuries, Jamie McGinn will be back on Wednesday, so the Avs will at worst lose one/get one back.

Let’s get into it and see what we learned from Saturday night’s win over the Canadiens.

Sweep The Leg, Johnny

The Avalanche showed on Saturday what they’ve made a point of doing most of this year: going for the jugular. When it looked as though maybe the Avs were getting a little tired in the third and that the Canadiens might take the lead, the Avs fought through and picked up a huge goal thanks to Ryan O’Reilly.

The top line had been quiet most of the night, but the theft an errant P.K. Subban pass behind the net by O’Reilly led to a roof job and a 2-1 lead a short time later. The team worked hard, kept at it, got their chances and ended up with the victory. They remained aggressive throughout and had more than a few good chances on Peter Budaj.

And that’s how the Avs are going to remain successful: in tied or close games, they need to go for the kill shot. They’ve done that this year. Let’s hope it continues.

Thank You, Adam

Adam Foote’s career was celebrated last night with the retirement of his #52 to the rafters of the Pepsi Center. There, he joined teammates Peter Forsberg, Patrick Roy, Joe Sakic, and Ray Bourque. He was most notably apart of the two Stanley Cup winning teams in Colorado in 1996 and 2001.

When people remember those teams,they quickly jump to the four guys he’s joining in the rafters and maybe rightly so. They were the star power, sure, but Foote was the defensive conscience of those juggernaut teams. He was the calming presence on the back end who worried about doing his job and keeping the puck out of the net than putting it into the other team’s net.

He was big, physical, smart and mean. There were few like him in the league that did what he did as well as he did. It’s about time he received some of the accolades that have eluded him for so long. Congratulations, Adam Foote. You’ve taken your place among the Avs’ elite.

Oh Landy

Nov 2, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Avalanche left wing Gabriel Landeskog (92) reacts to his second period goal next to Montreal Canadiens defenseman Francis Bouillon (55) at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

After a slow start that saw him go scoreless in the first three games of the year, it’s safe to say that Gabe Landeskog is heating up.  And in this instance, he’s heating up the score sheet, not just the ladies of Denver.

With points in six of his last seven and seven of his last nine games, Landy has been consistently scoring of late. He picked up the first goal of the game as well as assisted on the game-winning goal by new linemate Nathan MacKinnon, who replaced Tanguay after he went out due to his knee issue.

He’s got 11 points in the last 10 games for the Avs and, more importantly than that, seems incredibly confident right now. He drives to the net with speed and aggression, sometimes unleashing that heavy shot on unsuspecting goaltenders (as he did last night on the first goal of the game against Budaj). He gives the Avs an added dimension and opponents another guy to worry about.

It’ll be an interesting battle for the team lead in points this year; Duchene looked like he would run away with it early, but Landy has made a nice little push of late to get within three points of Dutchy. The race will prove beneficial for the Avs. After all: a little friendly competition never hurt anyone.

Next up: 11/6 vs Nashville

Ryan is the editor of Mile High Sticking as well as co-owner of The Farm Club. Follow him on Twitter to talk Avs, Sabres, hockey in general, or to let him know what a yutz he is.

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Tags: 2013-14 Season Colorado Avalanche Montreal Canadiens NHL

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