Colorado Avalanche Top Line Proves Who’s Best over Bruins

DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 14: Gabriel Landeskog #92 of the Colorado Avalanche celebrates a goal against the Boston Bruins with teammates Nikita Zadorov #16, Mikko Rantanen #96 and Nathan MacKinnon #29 at the Pepsi Center on November 14, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 14: Gabriel Landeskog #92 of the Colorado Avalanche celebrates a goal against the Boston Bruins with teammates Nikita Zadorov #16, Mikko Rantanen #96 and Nathan MacKinnon #29 at the Pepsi Center on November 14, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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The Colorado Avalanche’s top line dominated as the team beat the Boston Bruins at home. They held the B’s top line to just three points.

The Colorado Avalanche beat the Boston Bruins, and that’s really very good. They halted a five-game losing skid in Edmonton. The last thing they needed was to start another. Indeed, it was better that they started a mini winning streak, which is now at two.

So, the Avalanche beating the Bruins was a good thing. What was a great thing? The Avs’ top line of Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen, and Gabriel Landeskog proving they’re the top line of top lines.

There was some question, you see, of whether they were better than the Bruins’ top line of Patrice Bergeron, David Pastrnak, and Brad Marchand. Every time the NHL gave our top line some love, B’s fans would howl, “What about the Bruuuuuuuuiiiiins?”

To be fair, the B’s line has a combined 71 points on the year, which includes three points (1 goal, 2 assists) in last night’s game.

The MGM Line (for wont of a better name)? They doubled the amount of points in last night’s game, earning six (3 goals, 3 assists). That puts them at a grand total of 75 points on the year.

They win.

Top Line Goals

All three of the top liners scored a goal tonight. MacKinnon recorded an assist and Rantanen earned two.

Gabriel Landeskog opened the scoring of the entire game halfway through the first period. This was a pretty snipe from the circle:

Our captain can score some ugly goals, but this year he’s been scoring pretty ones like this. That puts him at 12 goals on the year. Rantanen earned one of his assists on the play.

A little after that, the B’s top line scored its only goal of the game, earned by David Pastrnak. Indeed, Boston scored three straight six minutes, taking them into the second period. (Pastrnak and Bergeron assisted on one of Jake DeBrusk’s two goals.)

Then the Avalanche took over again. Near the halfway mark of the game, Colorado went on a power play thanks to a hooking penalty from Pastrnak. It was Rantanen’s turn to score his goal. He wrists the puck past Boston goalie Jaroslav Halak:

That almost looked like a MacKinnon-style goal. However, Nate did earn an assist on the play. That puts Rantanen at seven goals on the season. He still leads the NHL in scoring with 29 points.

The man himself, MacKinnon, scored his goal halfway through the third period. It was, in fact, the game-winning goal:

That’s Nate’s second game-winning goal of the season and his 12th goal total. That was also a play in which Rantanen earned his second assist of the night. I especially love how you can see the top liners are in total concert with each other.

Secondary Scoring

The Colorado Avalanche didn’t just get scoring from their top line. Instead, secondary scoring also played a factor. After all, those three goal above would have just tied the game.

In fact, it was Matt Calvert, who’s still skating on the third line, who tied the game early in the second period:

That’s Calvert’s second goal of the season. This year’s surprise rookie,

Sheldon Dries

, is the one who set him up. I really like how Calvert stayed with the play.

After MacKinnon’s goal, two of our sophomores — Tyson Jost and Alexander Kerfoot — scored power play goals.

Jost’s came first, with the Colorado Avalanche on a power play thanks to David Krejci holding the self-same, Jost:

I really like how Jost’s persistence allowed him to be in the right place at the right time to poke home a loose puck in the crease. In fact, it’s kind of funny how he’s just peering around Halak to notice that the puck is loose. That’s his third goal on the season.

Alexander Kerfoot put the nail in the coffin with just 15 seconds left in the game:

You don’t see Kerfoot score on slap shots too often, but that’s what this one was. That put the Colorado Avalanche up 6-3. It was Kerfoot’s fourth goal of the season.

MacKinnon Still Growing into his Role. dark. Next

Even though they had that lapse of around six minutes spanning though the end of the first to the beginning of the second, this was a solid performance by the Colorado Avalanche. And it was a dominant performance by the team’s top line, whatever you want to call them.