The Colorado Avalanche prevailed over the Florida Panthers. However, was breaking up the band worth the victory?
The Colorado Avalanche beat the Florida Panthers 5-2. The team is now at least a minimum .500 on the roadie. They still face a tough game in Tampa Bay, but now they have a comfortable buffer.
J.T. Compher took the 30,000th ever shot on 39-year-old Roberto Luongo. He also scored the game-winning goal. It didn’t come on the 30,000th shot, which would have been too cool. However, he did score the game-winning goal.
He scored it skating on a line with Nathan MacKinnon and Gabriel Landeskog. That’s right, Jared Bednar broke up the hottest line in hockey. The line change resulted in the game-winning goal. And I’m going to complain about it anyway.
The top line wasn’t being a problem. Mikko Rantanen, the leading scorer in the entire NHL, wasn’t playing like a man who needed a demotion. Indeed, he already had a goal in the game.
When you have something as special as the En Fuego Line, you don’t mess with the chemistry. It may have paid off once, but… those three players have spent a year working together. The best linemates almost read each others’ minds — you could see that working for them.
Ah, well, by the end of the game, it appeared Bednar had Rantanen back in his rightful place. I guess we’ll have something to watch for in the game against Tampa.
(According to his post-game presser, though he’s been flirting with the idea for a while. Oof.)
Moving on to some observations.
More from Analysis
- 4 goalies to replace Pavel Francouz if he has to miss time
- What does Ross Colton bring to the Colorado Avalanche?
- Colorado Avalanche in-depth look at Jonathan Drouin
- Colorado Avalanche without Gabriel Landeskog, will another wear the “C”?
- Avalanche vs. Kraken prediction and odds for NHL playoffs Game 3
Philipp Grubauer stopped 33 of 35 shots for a save percentage of .943. He’s had to sit the last three games. Yet he’s making a case for himself as the right guy for the eventual starting job.
Defenseman Erik Johnson awkwardly jammed his stick into the boards late in the second period and disappeared to the locker room. We all held our breaths (Peter McNab and Marc Moser were beside themselves). However, Johnson returned for the third period and still led the team in ice time because he’s a stud.
PRAISING BEDNAR ALERT (Because sometimes you miss it): Alexander Kerfoot has been languishing on the fourth line for a couple games. Tonight he was skating a lot with Tyson Jost and Colin Wilson on the second line. He looks a lot more comfortable with skill players.
In that vein, Vladislav Kamenev has looked lost the last couple games. I’m guessing the coaching staff sees it too because he only got 6:02 of ice time, the lowest on the team. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Sven Andrighetto in the lineup Saturday night.
Carl Soderberg scored a
short-handed goal as well as an even-strength tally. He now has 11 goals at the one-third mark of the season. His career-best season, he scored 16 goals. Safe to say, he’s playing well.
Today marked the 23rd anniversary of Patrick Roy getting traded to the Colorado Avalanche. Just a few months later he threw a six-period shutout to win the Stanley Cup-clinching game and bring the first-ever sports championship to Colorado. He threw that shutout against the Florida Panthers, tonight’s opponent.
As mentioned above, the next opponent is the best team in the NHL, the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Colorado Avalanche are playing with house money. But it always feels a little sweeter to win with house money.