Colorado Avalanche Win Game 5 and We’re So Thrilled!

NASHVILLE, TN - APRIL 20: Gabriel Landeskog
NASHVILLE, TN - APRIL 20: Gabriel Landeskog /

The underdog Colorado Avalanche took Game 5 over the Nashville Predators to force a Game 6 back at the Pepsi Center.

The Colorado Avalanche won Game 5! AVS WIN!!! AVS WIN!!! AVS WIN!!!!

The Avalanche did the seemingly impossible — they beat the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Predators in Nashville. The score was 2-1, but the Avs were the only ones who scored legitimate goals (more on that momentarily).

That means the Avs are forcing a Game 6, which will be played in Pepsi Center. This is the third time such an occurrence has happened in franchise history — being down 3-1 in a series and winning Game 5 to force another game. They’re still facing elimination, but at least now they’re on home ice for the next game.

Let’s look at how this seeming miracle came to be.

Shutdown Hammy

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The Colorado Avalanche started their third-string goalie, Andrew Hammond. No one ever thought Hammond would get a start for the NHL club — heck, Colorado didn’t even put him with the San Antonio Rampage but rather left him with the Belleville Senators on loan.

Well, the injury bug hit, and it targeted our goalies. First Semyon Varlamov went down with a season-ending knee injury late in the season. We told ourselves it was ok because backup Jonathan Bernier was the goalie of nine of the 10 games in their win streak.

Well, either Bernier was injured all along, or he never fully recovered from his two concussions, because he most certainly was not that goalie. He wasn’t awful, but he wasn’t exactly stealing games either. Well, Bernier finally succumbed to a lower body injury, and Hammond had to take over in the third period of Game 4. Hammond stopped all eight shots he faced, but the Avs were already down by three and couldn’t prevail.

Enter Game 5. Hammond — the Hammburgler, as he ‘s affectionately called – stopped all 44 hockey shots he faced, only allowing the soccer goal. (Coming up.)

Hammond was amazing. He shut the Predators down. He looked confident in net and inspired confidence.

44 shots in an elimination game in only the second-ever game he’d played with the Avalanche. Impressive.

Landeskog’s Leadership

Predators fans boo Gabriel Landeskog the way we boo P.K. Subban. Our Viking captain is living rent free in their heads.

Landeskog was built for the playoffs. He can clutch and grab like he’s a throwback to the 1990s. He must yap his head off because he incites opponent reactions even when he doesn’t seem to be doing anything. And when he does do something — like finish a check too enthusiastically — he gets plenty of reaction.

That’s not all, though. I noticed today that Avs insiders, fellow bloggers, and fans were getting ready with their goodbyes. We were all about “It was a miracle season. The Avs accomplished so much and we’re so proud of them.”

Like this:

Related Story: Avalanche Set to Make Fans Proud

Well, Landy said no, we’re not saying goodbye yet. With the Avalanche down 1-0 late in the third period on a bullshit goal. He decisively slammed home the game-tying goal. Landeskog stated he wanted to bring hockey back to Denver for a Game 6, and he did his damnedest to make that happen.

The Goals

Like I mentioned above, the Colorado Avalanche are the only team who scored legitimate goals — and not one, but two. The game was tight and not nearly as chippy as the previous games were. The Avs knew what was at stake, and the Preds seemed like they just wanted to get it done.

Well, the first “goal” of the game was not a good hockey goal — it was all soccer:

The call on the ice was no goal because you can’t kick the puck into the net. Even the Predator fans were singing “Let it Be” (because they didn’t get they were advocating for the call on the ice to stand). Well, Toronto clearly wants the Predators to win this series because they overturned the call on the ice.

Never mind, our Viking captain received a pass from our superstar, Nathan MacKinnon, and this happened:

That’s a decisive game-tying goal.

But that wasn’t enough. This isn’t the regular season, and just getting to overtime doesn’t get you anything special. Instead, it’s sudden death overtime, and in this case it’s an elimination game.

Well, Sven Andrighetto showed he can do more than irritate Ryan Hartman‘s nether regions. What he did was, he scored the game-winning goal:

I was at the watch party at Pepsi Center, and it was pandemonium when Ghetto scored. We. Were. Thrilled. Still are.

Next: Landeskog Feeling Confident in Series

The Colorado Avalanche will host the Nashville Predators on Sunday. The start time is 5:00 pm MT.