With the season well beyond us, and the Stanley Cup Finals set to begin between the Dallas Stars and the Tampa Bay Lightning, it is an excellent time to take a look at our final reviews for the Avs roster. Naturally, it is only right that we start with the Avs top-six forwards.
So, without further ado, let’s dive straight into this thing.
Taking a little page out of Kyle Keefe’s page, it is only natural for MacKinnon to earn something above a regular A+. Thought the past few seasons, MacKinnon has made himself a bonafide superstar in the league, but he took things to the next level this season, helping the Avalanche reach the second round for the second consecutive time. Not only did Mackinnon lead the Avs in points (93 – 35 goals, 58 assists) this season during the regular season, but he was also a man on a mission during the playoffs, tallying 25 points (9 goals, 16 assists).
MacKinnon recently won the Lady Byng trophy and is still up for the Hart Memorial and Ted Lindsay awards.
Despite being injured for most of the regular season and only tallying 44 points in 54 games played this season, Avs captain Gabriel Landeskog did have himself a solid season. Prior to his freak injury against the Dallas Stars in the second round, Landeskog was on a roll in the playoffs, tallying 13 points ( 2 goals, 11 assists). I think we can all hope for a healthy season for Landeskog next year.
One thing that became kind of obvious to me throughout this entire season, is that it appears the league has begun to become used to Mikko Rantanen. He can still do a lot of amazing pass and plays, but it appears that he can only pull this type of stuff off against weaker opponents, the rest of the league has adapted to him. So how will Rantanen adapt to this? Only time will tell.
Similar to Landeskog, despite being injured for half of the regular season, Rantanen had himself a regular season with 41 points (19 goals, 22 assists). Once he was fully healthy for the playoffs, he looked like regular Mikko again, tallying 21 points (7 goals, 14 assists) in 15 playoffs games played.
Out of all the main offseason signings Avalanche GM Joe Sakic made during the offseason, Avs forward Andre Burakovsky was one of the main players who showed he can succeed with the Avs system. Finishing the regular season with 45 points (20 goals, 25 assists) and 17 points in the playoffs, statistically speaking Burakovsky was the best offseason signing Sakic made. As an RFA, it will be interesting to see how much the Avalanche will pay to keep him.
Including his buzzer-beating GWG against the St. Louis Blues in the round-robin games against the St. Louis Blues, Nazem Kadri impressed a lot of people, myself included, in his first full season as a member of the Colorado Avalanche, especially in the faceoffs. Finishing with 36 points (12 goals, 16 assists) in the regular season and 18 points (9 goals, 9 assists) in the playoffs, Kadri reminded everyone that he can still find the back of the net.
Despite his defensive hiccup in Game 7 of the second round against the Dallas Stars, I thought that Kadri was awesome this season for the Avalanche. One area that I thought he helped the Avalanche with a lot was faceoffs, as Kadri finished the season as second best with a 56.8 faceoff percentage. One area I thought Kadri was a welcome addition to was the Avs first unit powerplay. Not only adding another scoring force but by helping the Avs win the faceoff and remain in control of the opponent’s zone during the powerplay right away.
Out of everyone in the top six, Donskoi was the one who probably disappointed me the most. He wasn’t terrible, but he also wasn’t amazing either. Donskoi finished the regular season with 33 points (16 goals,17 assists) and only tallied six points (3 goals, 3 assists) in 9 playoff games played with the Avalanche. I am not really sure if Donskoi needs more time to get adjusted to the Avs playstyle, or if he is just way to injury-prone, but this past season was definitely a disappointment for Donskoi, and hopefully, he can redeem himself next season.