The Colorado Avalanche dropped their first regulation game to the St. Louis Blues 3-1. They still had a great road trip and general start to the year.
The Colorado Avalanche lost their first game in regulation, 3-1. They’re now 7-1-1 on the season, having gotten off to the hottest start in franchise history. Five of those games were on a season-high, five-game road trip, during which time Colorado went 3-1-1.
As the captain Gabriel Landeskog said, they had a really good road trip. As he quipped, they had the chance to make it a really, really, really good road trip with a win tonight, but it wasn’t meant to be.
We’ll talk a little bit about how it all went down, but let’s start with the much bigger loss — Mikko Rantanen.
Loss of Mikko Rantanen
Early in the second period, Rantanen fell awkwardly to the ice. At first no one could tell why because no Blues players were really around him, and it wasn’t the kind of fall he was famous for in his rookie career.
Video later showed a… very unpleasant occurrence:
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There is a point, for just a nano-second, that Rantanen’s left skate is facing in entirely the wrong way. It was only a fraction of a second, but… you know it doesn’t matter. As I said, Mikko collapsed, and he left the game in pain. He didn’t return.
Altitude TV broadcasters Kyle Keefe and Mark Rycroft speculate that Rantanen may have had freshly-sharpened skates that caught briefly on the freshly-smoothed ice. They wouldn’t speculate what the injury was, saying it could be a hip, knee, or ankle, and nor should we.
The only thing that gives me hope is that Rantanen got back to his feet, and it was directly onto that left foot. But we won’t know more until probably Wednesday because Colorado is taking the day off tomorrow after their tough road trip.
All teams suffer injury. The hope is that Rantanen won’t be out long — Colorado is blessed with three more days until their next game. But if the Avs have to play some games without their star winger, other players will simply have to step up.
The hope is, as Jared Bednar pointed out in his post-game presser, that guys would get into the game more since they’re cycling through more. However, it didn’t really work out that way.
It took the Colorado Avalanche nine games to earn their first regulation loss, so we shouldn’t be too salty about that. I’m going to be a little salty, but only because I hate the St. Louis Blues.
I really hate the Blues. I hate all Central Division teams, but… the Blues have always been so tough for Colorado. They play that heavy, stifling style of hockey that I can’t stand.
Colorado made a valiant attempt to break the game open in the first period. However, by late in the first St. Louis had shut it down. And that was that.
Remember, though, that the Avs were playing their fifth game in eight days, including a back-to-back series they should have lost one game of. I’m not making excuses, but you could forgive the guys for being a bit fatigued.
Obviously, the important game in on Friday. It’s against the Knights in Vegas — another tough building for Colorado. How the Avalanche answer tonight’s loss will be telling for the soul of this team.
A couple notables. Nikita Zadorov skated in his 300th NHL game, and he celebrated by butt-checking Jaden Schwartz. Nathan MacKinnon scored the lone goal, and he’s now the first player in franchise history and only the fifth NHLer ever to start consecutive seasons with nine-game point streaks.