Colorado Avalanche with Much-Needed Win against Montreal
The Colorado Avalanche played some sloppy hockey. They took some bad penalties, including a delay of game that sent Altitude TV host Mark Rycroft into conniptions and yet another too many men. Defense was lacking.
And yet the Avalanche beat the Montreal Canadiens 2-1. They’re now 2-1 on the home stand with one game left. They’re now seven points ahead of their next Central Division challenger for third seed, the Dallas Stars.
You can thank two entities that always bail the Avs out — the goalie and the top line.
This game was important for more than standings, though. Let’s look at how some of the keys to the game worked out.
I’m not going to say it was there for the Colorado Avalanche across the board. They definitely came out hungry, and they were the better team for most of the first period.
However, the same thing happened against Montreal as happened against the New York Islanders. Colorado dominated the play in the beginning of the first period. Then they got scored on and collapsed.
Luckily, that’s when goalie Philipp Grubauer stepped in. Just watch some of these amazing saves:
He kept Colorado in the game long enough for first Mikko Rantanen then Gabriel Landeskog to score. In all, Philipp Grubauer made 35 saves on 36 shots, which was good enough for first star of the game honors.
A humble proposal:
Well, the Colorado Avalanche didn’t exploit their home ice advantage exactly. Rather, they exploited their possession of the top line in hockey. Mikko Rantanen and Gabriel Landeskog scored the two goals for the Avs, with MacKinnon assisting twice and Rantanen once.
In other words, they provided the offense for the game. They’re providing offense for the whole league:
Remember when there was some question of what the top line in the NHL was? 😂
In case you need a little more convincing:
What’s more, our captain leads the NHL in game-winning goals with seven, including tonight’s GWG.
Let’s look first at
Mikko Rantanen’s goal:
What an amazing play by MacKinnon to get Rantanen the puck. Also, thanks, Carey Price, for passing the puck right to MacKinnon — always a good idea. (Unless you’re an opponent goalie…)
And now the captain’s game-winner:
Someone’s been practicing his baseball hits.
So, with last night’s win, the Colorado Avalanche will complete this home stand with at least .500 hockey — and we can hope they’ll beat the struggling Chicago Blackhawks. Friday’s game against the Hawks is the first of a back-to-back series that sees them fly to Arizona before the Christmas break.