Get-right game puts Avalanche back on track


With some concerning trends emerging, the Colorado Avalanche needed a win. An 8–2 loss against the St. Louis Blues on Saturday, the Avalanche’s struggles throughout the lineup were both apparent and out of character.

Monday’s game was a chance for revenge on the Seattle Kraken’s home ice with the final matchup between the two teams. After taking a 4–3 loss to them on Thursday, there was certainly much to be resolved and a get-right performance was imperative to breaking an unsavory streak of shortcomings.

Artturi Lehkonen recently went on long-term injured reserve after taking a hard hit from Seattle’s Jamie Oleksiak just a few days ago, and his absence in the lineup was felt. Andrew Cogliano also walked away from the game banged up, leaving room for youngsters to step up.

Answering the call was Sam Malinski, who was making his NHL debut, and Caleb Jones, who replaced Sam Girard and Josh Manson.

First period

The first frame of the game was slow and flat. After the humbling loss against the Blues, it goes without saying the Avalanche’s defense needed to step it up and, of course, the team needed to get goals on the board.

Kurtis MacDermid took on Oleksiak just a few minutes into the period, no doubt policing the hit on Lehkonen in the last game. Unfortunately, it did little to ignite a fire within the team.

The lackadaisical play allowed the Kraken to net the first goal, making it 10 straight games of allowing an early deficit from this opponent.

Even though Colorado has had chances to adapt to Seattle’s playing style, it still causes problems for the team. The roster’s slump resulted in poor communication, inconsistent passing and missed power play opportunities, which had noticeable consequences.

The Avalanche only took five shots on goal in the first period, which was not a promising look for the remaining 40 minutes.

Second period

Though what was said in the locker room may never be known, the Avalanche entered the second frame with a new sense of determination and energy. Passes connected, communication improved and success followed.

Starting the period on a failed power play, the Avalanche kept pushing forward and consistently applied pressure to the home team. Mikko Rantanen broke through and netted his tenth goal of the season to tie the game 1–1. Nathan MacKinnon and Devon Toews assisted his goal.

Finally being rewarded for hard work, it did not take long for the flood gates to open and for the burgundy and blue to remind the Seattle Kraken they were a tough contender.

Just a couple of minutes later, Ross Colton made the score 2–1 on a power play with help from Toews and Tomas Tatar.

Third period

The final period of the contest was nothing less than exciting. Starting off on a historically successful penalty kill, the Avalanche maintained their lead and ensured the Kraken would not score another goal.

Quickly silencing enthusiastic boos from the crowd, Cale Makar made the score 3–1 with 15:46 left to go. He was assisted by Jones and Tatar.

The lineup on the ice in the final 30 minutes of the game could not have been more different from the one in the first 30.

Jonathan Drouin, new to the team this season, finally scored his first goal in an Avalanche jersey, assisted by Rantanen and MacKinnon. His goal was definitely a confidence booster after coming up short in the first 13 games.

The team was on a roll, and everybody was cashing in. On a power play, Valeri Nichushkin scored the last goal of the game with just under five minutes to go and sealed the Kraken’s fate with a 5–1 defeat. MacKinnon had his third assist of the night, helped by Rantanen with his second.

The Kraken fired just one singular shot on the goal during the final frame.

Final takeaways

The team truly deserved the win. Despite a slow start and important players missing, the team triumphed and Jared Bednar reached 300 wins.

In total, Colorado had 31 shots to Seattle’s 19. The power play performance was significantly better than in recent games and converted on 2 of 6 chances.

Alexandar Georgiev’s recent performance has been questionable, but he was locked in and resembled the goalie Avs fans are accustomed to.

The get-right game could not have come at a better time. Returning home, Colorado will take on the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday before heading to Dallas for a division rivalry game.

About Savvy Rafkin

Savvy is a recent Journalism and Media Communication graduate from Colorado State University. She spent most of her life playing softball and being surrounded by sports. As she entered college, she found her passion for sports writing and joined the Colorado State University Athletic Communications team. Later, she became a beat reporter for high school sports in northern Colorado.


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