Avalanche open season with success


The Colorado Avalanche kicked off the season with their new roster, opening the 2023–24 schedule on Wednesday against the Los Angeles Kings with a 5–2 victory.

There was much to look forward to with the season opener, and all eyes were on Colorado’s first line, especially with the anticipated chemistry between Jonathan Drouin and Nathan MacKinnon.

Not only did Drouin and MacKinnon prove to be a dangerous pair, but MacKinnon’s opening goal only set the pace for a prolific night of hockey for the Avalanche.

MacKinnon was assisted by Drouin and Mikko Rantanen only 7:25 into the first period and it remained the only goal on the board for the rest of the frame.

Cale Makar opened up the second period with a goal assisted by MacKinnon and Rantanen, and his goal was later followed by Rantanen’s own, which was assisted by Devon Toews and MacKinnon.

The third period yielded two more goals. Rantanen started the period with help from Makar and Jack Johnson, but newcomer Miles Wood added to the lead and recorded his first Colorado goal on an empty net. Wood was assisted by Ross Colton and Tomas Tatar.

Though showing an efficient and aggressive style of gameplay, the forward nature of the game came at a cost. Overall, the team had an issue staying out of the penalty box and accumulated 19 penalty minutes.

In the first period, Valeri Nichushkin, Makar and Drouin all drew penalties. A scuffle in the second period left Logan O’Connor with a penalty for fighting, largely contributing to the overall time spent in the box. Makar and Kurtis MacDermid both acquired minor infractions in the second frame.

By the third period, Bowen Byram seemed to have a chip on his shoulder. He committed two back-to-back penalties for cross-checking and boarding.

However, the Avalanche did not struggle with the penalty kill, which was something coach Jared Bednar had been working on in the preseason camp. Through the night, the lineup successfully shut down five shorthanded scenarios.

For the night, the Avalanche amassed 35 shots on goal. Goaltender Alexandar Georgiev only allowed two goals past him and successfully blocked 23 shots.

With such promise at an early stage of the season and more information for the coaches to work with, the Avalanche will be under a watchful eye and will move forward to their next road game against the San Jose Sharks on Saturday. Puck drop is scheduled for 8 p.m. MDT.

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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