Takeaways From Frozen Fury


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The Colorado Avalanche secured their one and only preseason win, but it came at the perfect time — right before the beginning of the regular season. It’s all well and good to say that they’re doing the little things right, it’s just the preseason, Ws don’t count. It’s just awful nice to get in that win column. They beat the LA Kings in the shootout, 3-2.

The preseason is over, and the Avalanche got better with the passing of every game. It looks pretty sweet going into their away and home series versus the hated Minnesota Wild.

So, let’s look at some takeaways from the Frozen Fury match against the reigning Stanely Cup champion LA Kings.

#6: Nate MacKinnon is a Shootout Force

Nate MacKinnon scored the lone shootout goal. Like Matt Duchene before him — who himself borrowed the move from Sid Crosby — he employs a bicycle kick when coming in for the shot. LA goalie Jonathan Quick was solid in stopping the Avalanche’s 30+ shots, but he couldn’t stop MacKinnon.

#5: Avalanche Penalty Kill

Unfortunately, the Avalanche penalty kill got too much practice. However, luckily for Colorado, it was solid. They did not let in a single goal.

In general, the Avalanche are showing that naysayers are wrong in discounting its defense. The blue line has been very solid, led by cornerstone defenseman Erik Johnson. However, Zach Redmond is showing why he should suit up on a regular basis.

#4: Varlamov Needs Warming Up

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  • Starting goalie Semyon Varlamov has not had a great preseason. Coming into the Frozen Fury, he had a .898 save percentage. He also looked sluggish early, letting in two goals in just about a dozen shots.

    However, Varlamov became well-known for an unusual statistic last season — he gets better the more shots he faces. Once he gets warmed up, he’s solid.

    #3: Ever-Who?

    I hate to admit it, but during the Avalanche’s first goal against the Kings, my first thought was, “Wait, who’s that long-haired guy who just scored?” I had to consult my Burgundy and White roster because I haven’t memorized all the prospects’ numbers yet.

    That said, head coach Patrick Roy has memorized all the numbers, of course. Dennis Everberg has caught his attention. He said during a post-practice presser:

    "“We’re very happy with Everberg, Rendulic and Agozzino – that’s why they’re still here.”"

    Borna Rendulic got an assist on Everberg’s goal. He’s another one looking good to make the team.

    #2: Willie’s Not Nice

    Ryan Wilson seems like a perfectly lovely man off the ice. On the ice, however, he’s kind of a, well… he’s a jerk. We like him that way.

    He was involved in all manner of scrum against the Kings. He also labeled LA’s Kyle Clifford with a nasty, teeth-chattering hit. I repeat — he’s a jerk, and we like him that way.

    #1: Dutchy is Back

    Matt Duchene, of course, has been present the entire preseason. However, he was having one of his streaky moments.

    Never mind that, because when Dutchy gets over his slumps, he does it in a big way. First, he earned an assist on the long-haired guy’s, er, Everberg’s goal. Discontent with an assist alone, he went and tied the game in the third period with his own goal.

    That said, I’ve been watching as the preseason imploded, thinking it was time for a leader to really step up. Erik Johnson was on fire, all over the ice, shooting the puck every (good) chance he got. And now Dutchy really showed leadership on the ice.

    No offense to Jarome Iginla, for whom I have the utmost respect. But I think we’ve found our alternate captain elsewhere.