The Buffalo Sabres got hit by an Avalanche tonight, giving the Colorado Avalanche another two points. That’s 1-1 on this road trip so far.
It started off as another one of those games for the Colorado Avalanche tonight against the Buffalo Sabres. Ten minutes into the game, the Sabres had control of the game and I’m thinking, oh no, it’s going to be another one of THOSE games.
You know what I mean. The Avalanche look sloppy and turn the puck over, don’t play as if they own the puck and the ice. One of those games.
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The points added through the Girard goal and the assists by the other Avalanche Defensemen, had them tied for most points in the NHL by defensemen. What a great contribution.
That’s when I breathed a sigh of relief and thought “It’s okay, we’re in this.” Maybe that was what jinxed it, but with 9 seconds left in the first, the Sabres scored.
I went into the period break not sure where this game was headed.
Not far into the second period Peter McNab commented that the Avalanche players seemed to come out more fired up in the second. He said, “Maybe they got angry with themselves in the locker room during the break.” Whatever they did, it worked.
First Nazem Kadri sniped one, then Big Z (Nikita Zadorov) puts a backhander in. The score is suddenly 4-1 Avs, and Burakovsky has four points for the night.
Then Valeri Nichushkin scores and it’s all over rover. Well not quite.
There’s nothing like watching a team change out their goalie. That happened in this game halfway through the second when the Sabres switched out Sutton for a first-timer. At one point during the second, I felt so sorry for this new goalie. He was being fired at from all directions by the Avs and he had no idea what hit him.
The top line had been quiet and not scored up until that point, then Mikko Rantanen sent one home that fast that it went in and out of the net without anyone seeing it.
The commentators made mention at this point in the game that the Avalanche had six goals from fourteen shots. That’s a pretty good statistic.
With the Avalanche up 6-1, the third period became a non-event. All the Avs did was protect their lead. Sure, they had some close misses, so it wasn’t as if they gave up completely. They maintained control of the game, which was good to see.
Here are my pluses and minuses for the game:
- Andre Burakovsky showed his strength in many ways tonight. He was strong both on and off the puck and his ability to score and support others in scoring was exceptional.
- The defensive core showed again how valuable they have become for this team. Way to go D.
- Tyson Jost had another good night. He was in the play, passing and contributing. It’s great to see this after his slow start this season. Whilst he didn’t score, he had some close shaves.
- Mikko Rantanen‘s Dad’s blazer. What a beauty. In Avalanche colours and with the Finnish flag on it. Thumbs up to Mr Rantanen.
- Lots of sloppy passing at times, again. It’s something we’ve seen regularly in these sort of games. It has a huge impact on our ability to make critical plays and pepper the net.
- I’m going to say the top lines ineffectiveness. Sure you probably don’t agree with me. Nathan MacKinnon was passing when he could have been shooting. Landy was there and not really in it. Mikko Rantanen made a few ‘dashing’ plays and sure, he scored a goal. Yet, the rest of the team scored the remaining five goals.
- The inability to clear the puck from the end zone when we are on a PK. This has been an all too common occurrence lately and it’s cost us dearly in other games. Thankfully tonight it wasn’t such a problem. Only because the Sabres didn’t have a strong offence in their own zone and we only had to kill two penalties.
Next up the Ottowa Senators. Let’s hope we turn these minuses around and play a full sixty minutes of on-point hockey again. We’ve seen it from the Avalanche before, this season, so it is possible.