The Colorado Avalanche have started getting some secondary scoring, including two goals by Carl Soderberg in the game against the Arizona Coyotes.
The Colorado Avalanche finally got some secondary scoring in the game against the Arizona Coyotes. A whole lot of secondary scoring. In fact, in the 6-2 victory over the Coyotes, it was all secondary scoring. (It didn’t help that Nathan MacKinnon got ejected from the game for engaging in a second fight, but that’s another story.)
The Avalanche’s center of the checking line, Carl Soderberg, got two of those goals. Soderberg doesn’t even get a lot of multi-point nights, much less multi-goal games. However, he got one against Arizona.
The first goal came just after the midway point of the game. The game was tied at zero. The two teams had just engaged in that melee that saw MacKinnon and two Coyotes — Josh Archibald and that goon Zac Rinaldo — get ejected from the game. At the time, the Avalanche and Coyotes both had just four skaters each on the ice.
During that four-on-four play, Carl Soderberg skates into the high slot. He lets loose with a wrist shot which goes off the inside of the post and drops into the back of the crease:
It was a respectably nice looking goal, one that put the Colorado Avalanche up 1-0.
In the time between that goal and Soderberg’s second of the game, a whole lot of scoring happened — six goals’ worth. The Avalanche scored four in a row, then they allowed two short-handed goals (both by Derek Stepan) before getting one back.
Carl Soderberg started the scoring in the game, and he also ended up finishing it. With six-and-a-half minutes left in the third, Soderberg channeled his inner MacKinnon.
Soderberg gathers the puck in the neutral zone. He makes a slick move to get past the Arizona defender then puts on a burst of speed. He then lifts the puck and shoots it into the back of the net with a wrister:
That’s a goal that color announcer Peter McNab called the “nicest goal” he’s seen Soderberg score for the Colorado Avalanche.
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You don’t want to base too much conjecture on the first third of a season, much less on a player’s performance in one game. However, both McNab and play-by-play broadcaster Mike Haynes remarked during the game that Carl Soderberg appeared to be having a bounce-back season.
Soderberg’s career year came during the 2015-16 season, his first for the Colorado Avalanche. He recorded 51 points (12 goals, 39 assists) in 82 games.
Last year, Soderberg had only 14 points (6 goals, 8 assists) in 80 games. Carl has already exceeded that points total by one and matched the goals total after playing just 32 games. Yes, it’s too soon for a lot of conjecture, but I think we can safely say Carl Soderberg is playing better than he did last year.
In addition to Carl Soderberg’s two goals, the Colorado Avalanche got goals from Sven Andrighetto, Matthew Nieto, J.T. Compher, and the game-winner from Nail Yakupov. You can’t expect those players to pot one in every night, but some sustained pressure from Soderberg and his ilk will keep Colorado in a good position.