The Colorado Avalanche have 42 wins this season. Find out which one of 16 top game-winners fans love the most.
The Colorado Avalanche social media conducted a bracket challenge for game-winning goals. It started with the same bracket as you’d see for the playoffs. However, each seed was an Colorado game-winning goal.
I’m not sure how they picked which goals to include in the bracket, which started with 16 game-winners. Colorado, of course, has 42 wins on the season. However, the original bracket does include a bunch of different players, such as Valeri Nichushkin, Matthew Nieto, and Erik Johnson. So, maybe they branched out from the usual suspects.
First up, they had JT Compher’s winner against the Flames against Mikko Rantanen’s winner against the Devils.
I voted for Compher’s goal because it was spectacular. It involved a lot of players making good plays to get Compher the puck to score with. But, as you can see above, it was Rantanen’s that won.
Next up was Andre Burakovsky beating the Bruins against Nieto’s taly against the Oilers.
That Burakovsky goal is impressive. I also like how he just sat on the ice celebrating after scoring it. It was also his first goal for the Avalanche.
Nichushkin giving the Leafs some short-handed woe or Rantanen’s killer backhand:
Valeri Nuchushkin may have made the top 16, but that’s as far as he got. Rantanen’s goal was just too beautiful.
Burakovsky really does score some pretty goals, and his next addition to this contest is no different. Unfortunately, he was up against Makar’s “shooty-shoot.”
I mean, everything Cale Makar does just seems magical.
Those four matchups were the first half of the game-winning goal bracket challenge. For the next four, the social gave us the first Nathan MacKinnon option, his OT winner against the Canucks going up agains Sam Girard disappointing the Hurricanes.
I love Sam Girard’s goal, but the winner isn’t any surprise.
Next up we have Erik Johnson’s empty net goal that was the deciding factor against the Predators. They put him up against Compher’s game-winner in overtime against the Rangers — the last goal we’ve seen of this season.
I voted for the Johnson goal because EJ, but Compher’s goal took the W.
I’d forgotten about the shootout against the Kings until the next matchup — Joonas Donskoi’s shootout winner or Cale Makar depressing the Blues.
We all know my position on everything Cale Makar does. But I also love me some shootout action.
Burakovsky made his third appearance in the bracket with with his Burky Special — a bar-down snipe. He went up against MacKinnon’s slapshot:
That’s our MVP.
Ok, so there was our first round. As you can see, the winners were the following:
- MacKinnon vs the Blues
- Makar vs the Blues
- Compher vs the Rangers
- MacKinnon vs the Canucks
- Makar vs the Jets
- Rantanen vs the Senators
- Burakovsky vs the Bruins
- Rantanen vs the Devils
Compher and Burakovsky are the only ones who aren’t true starters to make it out of the first round.
We’ve now seen all the goals. So, I’ll show you the matchups and results for the next two rounds. Then, we’ll enjoy the Stanley Cup together.
The next round saw the following matchups:
- Burakovsy vs Bruins* — Rantanen vs Devils
- Rantanen vs Senators — Makar vs Jets*
- MacKinnon vs Canucks* — Compher vs Rangers
- Makar vs Blues* — MacKinnon vs Blue Jackets
We had a couple upsets in that round — *indicates the winner. Burakovsky advanced, Compher did not. Makr ar also beat out MacKinnon on one matchup.
Round three came out like this:
- Burakovsky vs Bruins — Makar vs Jets*
- MacKinnon vs Canacks* — Makar vs Blues
Oh, boy, no surprise there. We saw a rematch against MacKinnon and Makar, and this time MacKinnon took the win. However, Makar beat out Burakovsky. So, we had our final matchup.
We’ve already seen the two goals small. Let’s look at them a little bigger to see which one we would choose if we still had the chance.
First up, Makar’s game-winner against the Blues on January 2. Makar gave the Avalanche their first win of the new year on the first game of the new year.
The Avalanche were on the power play. Makar was on the point. He received a pass from Burakovsky and seemed to float closer. No fewer than six players were between him and the goalie. Yet somehow, with some otherworldly vision, he saw the tightest of seams:
What a laser of a shot!
MacKinnon’s game-winner came earlier in the season, November 16 against the Cancuks. The Avalanche won the game in overtime. We were all furious the game went into overtime because the Avs were leading by two with just 2 1/2 minutes to go.
But none of us were mad at the Colorado Avalanche. This was the game in which Matt Calvert took the awful puck to the head and was writing on the ground, but the officials didn’t stop the play until the Canucks had scored.
Well, no one was angrier about overtime hockey than Nathan MacKinnon:
You can see it right as he crosses the blueline that he’s finishing this game now. And that is what MacKinnon brings to our team — the ability to take over when he needs to.
In the end, that’s the goal that won the bracket challenge, too. No shame to Makar — that goal has a lot of emotional connection for Avs fans.
What do you think, Colorado Avalanche fans? What’s been your favorite game-winning goal so far this season?