Avalanche comeback falls short in loss to Stars


After a hard fought battle in game one, which the Colorado Avalanche won in overtime, the Dallas Stars were looking for payback. The Stars came out of the gate swinging and would not allow the Avalanche to set up in the offensive zone for a good portion of the first period. Trouble getting out of their own zone for most of the game and penalties would only help the Stars on their way to victory. Here are my takeaways as the comeback fell short, and the Avalanche lost 5–3 to the Dallas Stars in game two.


— The Avalanche were not aggressive enough in their own zone. Forwards were not stepping up on the defensemen to take the puck away. The Colorado defense frequently drifted to one side, leaving the back door wide open. This happened on the first goal for the Stars. A quick pass across the zone helped, but everyone had shifted to one side.

— The Avalanche need to stop hurting themselves. Throughout the night, the Avalanche had six penalties and gave the Stars five power play chances. Dallas was able to convert on two of those five chances. The Avalanche could have easily prevented four out of the six penalties. Nathan MacKinnon and Josh Manson both threw the puck over the net, incurring a delay of game penalties. The Avalanche were penalized not only once, but twice, for having too many men on the ice. Watch who you are changing for. I get it, you are trying to gain that extra step, but this has become a recurring problem for Colorado in the playoffs.

— There was a very questionable hit in the second period by Jamie Benn on Devon Toews. As Toews was going around the net with his head down and shoulder lowered, Benn slammed into him. The impact of the hit drove Toews’ head into Wyatt Johnston’s chest, causing whiplash. Officials would review the play and not make a call, but Toews had to leave the game for a short time for concussion protocol. The play itself was dangerous on both ends. Toews had his head down and Benn made contact very close to the head.

— The three-goal comebacks are not sustainable. The Avalanche have five comeback wins where they were down by three goals. This is more than any other team this year. It is also not a good way to play hockey. It is always exhausting to trail and fight your way back.


The Avalanche will need to clean up the penalties that only hurt themselves and help the Stars. Dallas is converting their power play chances at a 30.3 percent rate, the fourth highest of playoff teams. The ice was an issue because of the heat in Dallas today, Colorado will have to take advantage of the faster ice when they get home. The Avalanche will need to score early and often. Scoring early and gaining momentum will make them unstoppable. The Avalanche will meet the Stars again for game three on Saturday night in Denver.

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