October 16, 2015; Anaheim, CA, USA; Colorado Avalanche right wing Mikko Rantanen (96) moves the puck ahead of Anaheim Ducks defenseman Josh Manson (42) during the third period at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
5. Mikko Rantanen Looked Good with Duchene
Rantanen, the Avalanche’s 2015 first-round pick from Finland, had a very slow start into his first NHL season. After four games, he is still without a point while being a minus-4. Not exactly what the Avs were hoping for. Fun fact: he was exactly as bad as Duchene, but looked surprisingly good on Dutchy’s top line.
So, what does surprisingly good mean in this case? Well, he led the Avalanche with four shots and spent less time in the defensive zone than he did with Soderberg and Borna Rendulic — who was a healthy scratch against the Ducks. If I were Patrick Roy, I would put out Rantanen, Duchene and Iginla together for another game or two and see how it goes.
If it goes well and both Duchene and Rantanen find their scoring touch, perfect. If not, oh well, Roy will find a way. Perhaps Rantanen could profit from some developing time in the minors while, say, Mikhail Grigorenko takes his spot on the first line. We’ll see.
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