Colorado Avalanche: 4 Keys to Beating the Flames in Round 1

DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 13: The Colorado Avalanche face off against the Calgary Flames at the Pepsi Center on October 13, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 13: The Colorado Avalanche face off against the Calgary Flames at the Pepsi Center on October 13, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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CALGARY, AB – JANUARY 9: Nathan MacKinnon #29 of the Colorado Avalanche skates against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome on January 9, 2019 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Gerry Thomas/NHLI via Getty Images) /

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The Colorado Avalanche have the hottest line in the NHL in Nathan MacKinnon, Gabriel Landeskog, and the returning Mikko Rantanen. The trio will start out separate. Nate and Gabe will remain with Alexander Kerfoot, while Mikko will start out with Carl Soderberg and J.T. Compher.

Jared Bednar rationalized the split up by stating that the Flames had employed Mikael Backlund, Matthew Tkachuk and Michael Frolik against the top line in the regular season matchups. Indeed, according to Sportsnet, one of the keys for the Calgary Flames is to release the so-called 3M Line against our trio.

With Rantanen dropping to the second line, I don’t know what Calgary coach Bill Peters will do with his 3M line. He, too, might split it up this checking line. That said, I’m also pretty confident we’ll see our top line reunited at some point.

Side note: The article claims the 3M line did a great job containing our stars. However, the trio combined for 4 goals and five assists in the three games. I wouldn’t exactly call that contained.