Colorado Avalanche: The Good, Better and Best vs Blackhawks

The Colorado Avalanche had some good moments in their win over Chicago. Here are the good, better, and best.

The Colorado Avalanche beat the Chicago Blackhawks 7-3 for their second game of the back-to-back home-and-home series. That was a mighty fine game, and I’d be hard-pressed to find something bad to say about it, much less ugly.

Unless you count Andre Shaw. Talk about a face only a mother could love:

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By the way, it’s not fair that Ryan Graves got a four-minute penalty just because Shaw is bleeding here. Graves had made that gash in Shaw’s nose the previous night and just re-opened it during the high-sticking. You shouldn’t have to spend the extra two in the penalty box for re-opening a wound, even if you caused it in the first place.

So, there’s your ugly. And the bad? The Avalanche took six penalties, and also Patrick Kane scored. Neither of those is good.

Let’s look at what is good.

The Good

You know what’s good? One of those penalties came on a Samuel Girard fight. You read that right — our tiny, unemotional defenseman who’s all of 5-foot-10 got in his first real NHL fight.

Of course his opponent, Alex Debrincat, is even smaller than Sam — 5-foot-7, to be exact.

Here’s the fight:

Yeah, as Mark Rycroft of Altitude TV remarks, neither of them really knows how to fight. However, it’s good to see Girard sticking up for himself while mon chum is out injured. Although Nikita Zadorov did swoop in just in case Girard needed assistance.

As Conor McGahey would say, this was a featherweight match.

Anyway, now for something even better.

The Better

Tyson Jost scored a goal.

There’s a certain subset of every fandom that seems to delight in their own player’s struggles. Avs fans have been doing that all over with Jost. It’s like they want him to fail.

Well, if you know anything about my fandom, you’ll know the harder you root against one of my guys, the harder I’ll stick up for him. Call it my own mon chum reaction.

So, Jost hadn’t scored a goal since his hat trick 14 games ago, and that subset of fans was raking him over the coals. Well, find a new whipping boy — like Valeri “I Score Every 91 Games” Nichushkin.

What’s more, not only did Jost score, it was a beauty:

What a freaking beauty of a two-on-one with Jost in control of the play the entire length of the ice. Love it. It’s even better than Girard’s fight.

By the way, T.J. Tynan earned an assist on that goal, which is his first-ever NHL point.

And for the best of the night?

The Best

Our Big Moose, Mikko Rantanen, has returned. And what a return. He had a four-point night. No big deal, a goal and three assists when you’ve been out a month. Talk about working the rust off early.

The goal was Rantanen’s sixth of the season, and it was the fifth of the game:

The assists came on two of Nazem Kadri‘s goals and Nathan MacKinnon‘s goal.

Mikko Rantanen sat out most of the last period of the game, but Jared Bednar stated it was just precautionary, since the Avs were up by so many goals.

The four-point night also highlight how important Rantanen is to the team. The Colorado Avalanche managed to win games without him, but it was obvious what a big piece of the offense the team was missing.

And, in reality, the best of the night was that the Avalanche beat a Central Division rival — for the second time in as many days — and in a truly decisive fashion.

Next: Reasons I'm Thankful for the Avs

The Colorado Avalanche are back to challenging for the Central Division, now being in second place. They’re also second only to the Boston Bruins for goal differential in the entire NHL. Feels good.