Avalanche have their groove back


The Colorado Avalanche looked like they were getting their groove back in Seattle with their 5–1 win on Monday. If anyone was unsure about them having their groove, the Avalanche dismantled the Anaheim Ducks in a 8–2 victory on Wednesday night. Greg Cronin, former head coach of the Colorado Eagles, coached against his former organization for the first time. Following a successful Monday night with a win, Cronin hoped to carry the momentum into Denver.

Let’s analyze the Avalanche’s success on Wednesday night.

Bottom six

I have been stressing the need for the bottom six to score. On a night that they started showing up on the score sheet with nine total points between the six forwards, the team dominated. There were four goals and five assists among that group, not to mention the forechecking that caused some plays were outstanding. If they all continue to play like this, they will not struggle.

Cale Makar

The young Norris Trophy defenseman was on another level on Wednesday. He had three assists, one of which was during the power play and was +3 for the night. Cale Makar would also tie Valeri Nichushkin for the team high with five shots on goal. At some points in the game, Makar made getting away from an opponent look easy with the pressure bearing down on him.

Valeri Nichushkin

Rather than running the rails toward the goal, Nichushkin found a new way to score some goals. Having his first multi-goal game since Oct. 12, 2022, against Chicago and his 10th overall, Nichushkin placed himself right in front of the goal and waited. He would redirect shots from both Devon Toews and Makar to help lead the Avalanche to the win. Typically, this would be Gabriel Landeskog’s job in front of the net, but I have seen Nichushkin at practices working on his redirects.


Not much went wrong for Colorado on Wednesday night. They were very aggressive on the forecheck and backcheck and on zone exits. The Avalanche found their identity in Seattle and kept to it at home against the Ducks. They should have no issues if they keep playing like this. They will play again on Saturday against the dreaded division rival, the Dallas Stars, at the American Airlines Center.

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