Top Line Dominance
So, who can help drive that up-tempo game? Why, the best line in the NHL. Even in the Avalanche’s two-game losing skid, the bright spot was the top line of Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen, and Gabriel Landeskog.
The Colorado Avalanche cannot depend on this line alone. Other teams have access to film of their play. They can spend oodles of time and brainpower constructing ways to slow them down or otherwise dampen their brightness — and I’m sure that’s a large focus when teams hold film review meetings.
However, the top line is so good that they can control the pace and outcome of the game. You watch MacKinnon, and sometimes it seems as if he can score at will. And when Rantanen is holding court behind the net… watch out.
I don’t want to say it’s a case of the Avs go as the top line goes. Colorado has won games in which those three players were contained. However, during a four-game home stand, when the Avalanche coach controls the matchups to some degree… well, we hope that those three players rack up some points en route to some wins.