Colorado Avalanche: Musings After the Kings Game

LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 21: Dustin Brown /

The Colorado Avalanche players made some really good plays in a tight 2-1 overtime loss to the LA Kings.

The Colorado Avalanche dropped a 2-1 overtime heartbreaker against the LA Kings last night. Nonetheless, the Avs had a good game.

Center Tyson Jost had a killer effort late in the first period. Fellow rookie Alexander Kerfoot carried the puck into the offensive zone. Jost skated to the corner, spun, and worked his way to the side of the net. He tried to bury the puck behind Kings goalie Jonathan Quick, but the goalie made the save:

Goalie Semyon Varlamov wasn’t about to be outdone by Quick. He made some killer saves against the Kings, including this sequence:

Center JT Compher played a respectable 14:39 last night. He saw time on both the power play and the penalty kill. Color announcer Peter McNab about J.T. Compher:

"“The Colorado Avalanche will build a line around J.T. compher. He’s such a two-way player. He’s a shut down player who just knows where to be.”"

At one point McNab also remarked that Conpher has one of the best blank looks he’s ever seen. I’d have to concur with that — that’s one heck of a poker face.

When the going gets tough, the captain gets to scoring. Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog opened up the scoring about midway through the second period. He got the puck to Nathan MacKinnon, who blazed the trail into the offensive zone. MacKinnon fired the puck at Quick, who made the save. Landeskog corralled the loose puck and danced around in the offensive zone — the majority of the Kings players on the ice were focused on MacKinnon.

From the slot, Landeskog threaded the needle… and scored:

That goal put the Colorado Avalanche up 1-0.

The best part of this goal is that it all happened because Mikko Rantanen fell down. While falling, he broke Kings skater Trevor Lewis‘ stick, which meant he couldn’t cover Landeskog. But’s let’s celebrate that it was our baby giraffe falling that helped lead to that goal.

Before that goal, Landeskog had tangled up with Quick. The goalie was very angry and tried to come out of his crease to confront our captain. This is what Gabe had to say about the play:

"“I got my skate a little too far into the crease, and I think he tripped up on it. He wasn’t too happy about it. I’m glad I was able to get one on him the shift after. We’ll see if he wants a piece of me next period or not.”"

And, of course, the officiating was typically bad:

No, of course it wasn’t a trip — in was a penalty on an Avs player, and those are optional for referees to call.

Nail Yakupov in the penalty box is pretty funny:

Defenseman Alec Martinez scored the game-tying goal midway through the third period. Alec Martinez has a Stanley Cup-winning goal on his resume, and not too many men still playing the game can say that. The man has good goal juju.

Dustin Brown got the game-winner in overtime. He was skating in his 1,000th game. That was probably pretty special for him.

Next: What Barrie Does for the Team

Those two things aside, Colorado got a tough point against a very good team. This is a team they’ve historically had a little bit of a hard time beating. They were also without one of their best players, defenseman Erik Johnson, who was serving the last game of his suspension.

In other words, though I wanted a win, I’m satisfied with how the game played out.