Rock You Like A Hurricane! Avalanche Are the Superior Force of Nature!


Avalanche win!! Get your drizzling spiral of a storm outta here, Carolina! It wasn’t a pretty start, but the Avalanche built momentum throughout the game, before exploding in the final minutes to earn a come from behind victory! We’ll get into the nitty gritty details of the game, but for now, let’s do a little dance! Saturday night’s alright with me!

Tonight’s contest pitted two struggling teams, failing to live up to the power of their mighty force of nature monikers. The Avalanche certainly had higher expectations entering the season, and are desperate for wins.

It was the Hurricanes who came out, and set the tone right off the bat. Former friend, John Michael Liles, opened the scoring just 3:48 into the game. It was his first of the season, and just a really sweet goal to be honest. Liles jumped up to join the rush, and the Avalanche defense failed to pick him up, allowing JML to step into a one-timer that sizzled past Reto Berra.

Time for an Avalanche response, right? Wrong. Less than 2 minutes later, Nathan Gerbe was able to find twine, after collecting a loose puck in front of the net. It was a scramble of a play, and nobody on the Avs could control or even clear the puck. Really sloppy defensive work by the guys in burgundy. Just like that, with only 5:10 expired off the clock, the Avalanche were trailing 2-0. In fact, it was the fastest the Avs had fallen behind by a pair of goals this season.

One bright spot in the first period, was the play of the Lake Erie Trio. Recently recalled Andrew Agozzino, Ben Street, and Tomas Vincour were the best line on the ice for the unipron clad squad in the first period. At 10:52, the Avalanche tapped into the mustache power reserves to cut the lead in half. What is this guy even talking about? Zach Redmond is what I’m talking about. Redmond collected a puck near the boards on the endline, and fired it at the net on the tail end of a great shift by the aforementioned Lake Erie Trio. Andrej Sekera and Cam Ward clearly were caught looking at the beautiful upper lip fuzz caterpillar living on Redmond’s face, instead of paying attention to the happenings on the ice. The puck deflected of Sekera’s skate, for some accidental alliteration (again), and into the net.

Unfortunately, any flame of momentum the Avs could have taken from that goal into the first intermission was promptly doused by Reto Berra. Berra had a strong start to the season, which transitioned into a mediocre few games hidden by poor team play in front of him. In his last couple of starts, he hasn’t been good. The third Carolina goal, scored by Andrej Nestrasil, was an awful one to give up. Super soft goal by Reto.

Roy agreed, and gave Berra the hook. The Avalanche turned their fortunes to Calvin Pickard. And, why not? The other Lake Erie guys were making a strong showing. Might as well make it a Monster-mash on this fine Saturday evening.

The second period didn’t have as many goals as the first, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t eventful. Calvin Pickard made the save of the night, after a puck slipped past him off the post. The rebound looked primed to be tapped in for a 4-1 lead, but Pickard reached back and kept the Avalanche within two. What a save by the young lad!! He really Pick’ed his team up on that one.

The Avalanche took advantage. Erik Johnson pulled the Avalanche within one, on a fabulous play on the power play. EJ got the puck at the point, and backed his way into a better shooting lane with a nice little move. The trigger was pulled with the man-advantage, but the puck found pay dirt after the power play had expired. So, when you see the box score telling you the Avalanche were 0/4 on the power play, consider that fact.

The third period was all Avalanche. The Avs built momentum throughout the entire stanza, until Jarome Iginla popped the tab on the Pepsi Center, with a big shot from the slot. Huge goal for Iggy. Huge goal for the Avalanche. It was Nathan MacKinnon who created the chance. MacKinnon flew past the defense, for a bit of a one-on-one with Cam Ward. MacK just ran out of space though, and wasn’t able to score, but the chaos he created started the seige on that shift.

The Avalanche weren’t done. Mustache-man came back for seconds! And a delicious helping of game-winning goal it was. With 1:35 left in the game Redmond punched home a slippery cross-ice pass from Jarome Iginla, and the Pepsi Center was fizzing with joy! Nathan MacKinnon again really created a big portion of the play, utilizing his quickness to break down the Carolina defensive structure.

The Avalanche improve to 7-9-5, and in an almost frustrating fashion, give another glimmer of hope of the type of team they can potentially be. Calvin Pickard earned his first career NHL win, stopping all 17 shots he faced in relief of Reto Berra. The Avalanche have two more games between now and Turkey Day. I would certainly be thankful if they could pick up wins against the Phoenixzona Coyotes and Chicago Blackhawks. But for now, let’s just enjoy the big come from behind win!

Cotts’s Three Stars

1. Zach Redmond – The man. The mustache. The legend. Redmond had two big goals, including the game winner. He did exactly what he needs to do to have an impact when he is in the lineup. No major mistakes on defense, and he was timely at jumping into the offensive play.

2. Erik Johnson – The Avalanche don’t win this game without the play of Erik Johnson. He is now a bonafide number one defenseman. He hasn’t reached that national superstar level yet, but if he keeps playing like this, the recognition will come.

3. Calvin Pickard – Pickard didn’t face a lot of high quality chances, but he was solid and gave the Avalanche a chance tonight. First career win!

Honorable mention to MacKinnon and Iginla for their final 5 or 6 minutes of the game. Still would like to see a more consistent effort throughout, but they were the catalysts on the final two goals. Props for that.