Duchene wins it in double OT, eliminates Avalanche


The Colorado Avalanche fought as hard as they could and dragged the season out as long as possible. As they turned everything around in game five, but it was a battle of attrition in game six. Colorado would take the Dallas Stars all the way to double overtime trying to stay in the hunt for the Cup. Zach Parise was fighting to keep his NHL career alive, having announced that he will retire at the end of playoffs. The Avalanche jumped into tonight’s game, scoring first for the first time all series. Here are my takeaways from the 2–1 double overtime loss to the Dallas


— The Avalanche obviously had issues clearing the puck out of the zone again. I had mentioned that this was a problem in game four, but during the first overtime it was an enormous problem. During the first overtime, the Avalanche officially had four shots on goal. They had seven scoring chances, but Dallas had 12 chances. The puck was getting in deep and the Avalanche were having problems carrying the puck out of their own zone. In the first overtime, Colorado would spend over two minutes in their own zone.

— The Avalanche did not get double digit shots on goal in any period this game. For a team that averaged 33 shots per game (fifth in the league), they sure were not shooting like it. Colorado was failing to drive to the net. On top of that, they could not get the puck in the offensive zone for any extended periods. The most shots on goal that they could muster in a period were nine. Dallas peppered Alexandar Georgiev all night long, and for extended shifts.

— Georgiev is the one that kept the Avalanche in the game. Multiple mistakes by the defensive core meant Georgiev had to scramble to cover the net. He would keep the Stars scoreless in the first overtime, even through extended shifts by Dallas despite brief respite. His .949 save percentage is exactly what the Avalanche needed from him. He was calm and collected in the crease compared to earlier in the season where he looked panicked.


You can blame Valeri Nichushkin all you want for the loss in this series, but there is a certain point where Colorado had to move on. It became obvious they did that in game five of the series. Was it a shock to them? Yes. But head coach Jared Bednar said he did not want to use that as an excuse. Now it is time to look towards the future. The Avalanche are in a unique salary cap situation. The unknown status of Gabriel Landeskog, if Nichushkin will/can come back, and what unrestricted free agents they try to keep. We will have answers to these questions in the coming months. In the meantime, rest up, relax and recover.


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