Colorado Avalanche: Pondering the Ottawa Win

DENVER, COLORADO - FEBRUARY 11: Gabriel Landeskog #92 of the Colorado Avalanche is separated from the pile after a scrum in front of the net against the Ottawa Senators at Pepsi Center on February 11, 2020 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images)
DENVER, COLORADO - FEBRUARY 11: Gabriel Landeskog #92 of the Colorado Avalanche is separated from the pile after a scrum in front of the net against the Ottawa Senators at Pepsi Center on February 11, 2020 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images) /

The Colorado Avalanche collected a home victory against the Ottawa Senators to move up the standings and solidify their home ice dominance.

The Colorado Avalanche beat the Ottawa Senators at Pepsi Center tonight to officially sweep the two-game series. The Senators did not go gentle into that good night despite the 3-0 score. The game was hard-fought on both sides with the third goal coming on the power play.

The Avalanche now move to within one point of overtaking St. Louis for best in the Central Division — which will mean best in the Western Conference. They have a four-game home stand in front of them and a game in hand — more on all that at the end.

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The game was as good from the Avalanche’s side as you’d want. Of course, it was their first game without center Nazem Kadri, who’s week to week with a lower body injury. However, the new lines looked pretty solid.

As the Altitude TV announcers kept pointing out, this is an important game for Colorado because they have big games coming up. They’re facing the Washington Capitals on Thursday — Alexander Ovechkin and his quest for 700 goals. And they’re playing the outdoor game on Saturday.

You don’t want them to be inattentive to this game and lose points for no good reason. Any NHL team can win on a given night, but the Senators aren’t exactly playoff-bound.

Anyway, here are some musings on tonight’s game.

Ponderings from the Ottawa Senators Win

  • Philipp Grubauer threw the shutout, but that didn’t look like it was going to be the case early on. He was making the saves, but they looked wobbly.
  • In the end, though, he recorded 34 saves for the shutout. You can’t ask for more than that. Hopefully this is a harbinger of the Grubauer who stole the starting position from Semyon Varlamov.
  • The Colorado Avalanche had five power plays. The first power play unit, for being the high-octane one, struggled to get set up and just plain looked ineffective.
  • The second power play unit was the one that got things done — including a goal. Its members: Andre Burakovsky, Samuel Girard, Tyson Jost, J.T. Compher, and Valeri Nichushkin, who scored the goal.
  • Burakovsky stole Jost’s goal from the St. Louis game because he couldn’t get his skate out of the way. Tonight, he had Jost wide open on the power play goal, but he chose to thread the needle to get the puck to Nichushkin. Not a team player is Andre I guess.
  • Jost randomly showed up on the penalty kill and got a breakaway — he almost scored.
  • The Senators were going awful physical on the Colorado Avalanche, especially Cale Makar and Nathan MacKinnon. Dylan DeMelo finally had to answer to Gabriel Landeskog for his crimes.
  • Why is Marcus Hogberg so good? He came dangerously close to stealing the game.
  • Can we trade for Hogberg?
  • Why do the coaching staff insist on putting Nathan MacKinnon on the ice when the opponent team has pulled their goalie? He’s not supposed to be a defensive player! Tonight he had to block two shots, and one of them seemed to sting him. We don’t need MacKinnon injured!
  • At the end of that shift, as MacKinnon was going for a line change, play-by-play announcer Marc Moser said, “MacKinnon has had enough of that sh-” and I was 99% certain he was going to say sh*t. Because I’d had enough of that sh-
  • The Altitude announcers kept talking about how the Avs often don’t win after a big roadie. However, they failed to take into account that Colorado often wins after a player goes down with an injury because they band together.
  • I worry about the Caps game.
  • At the end of the night, some of the Avs player seemed to be hugging the officials? The referrees were Jon McIsaac and Jake Brenk, while the linesmen were Scott Driscoll and Brian Murphy.
  • Many of the Avalanche players have gone clean-shaven recently. I mentioned Pierre-Edouard Bellemare in the last post. Add Sam Girard and Tyson Jost to the list. Maybe they want to look fresh-faced for the outdoor game?

Jay Bouwmeester Scare

So, in the introduction I said I’d talk about the game in hand the Colorado Avalanche have over the Blues. It should be two games in hand, but a scary occurrence happened in the game against the Anaheim Ducks.

During a stoppage in play during the first period, Jay Bouwmeester seemed to pass out on the bench:

The medical help came swiftly.

I was hoping it was just dehydration or the flu, but the team has since released the following statement:

Cardiac episode. He’s only 36, which is ancient in hockey but is wicked young in real life. According to KSDK, the medical personnel had to use a defibrillator on him. The medical incident happened during the team’s fathers’ trip. His father is said to be with him at the hospital.

I do hope Jay Bouwmeester is ok. What a scary time. It’s both a curse and a blessing that his father happened to be on the trip. At least he can be at his son’s side.

Anyway, the game has been postponed.

Moving on.

Next. Avs Can Learn from the Super Bowl. dark

The Colorado Avalanche will have practice tomorrow and then their game against the Capitals on Thursday. Time to keep the home fires burning.