Makar and MacKinnon step up in game five victory


It was a win or go home situation for the first time this year for the Colorado Avalanche. They were facing elimination against the Dallas Stars in game five of the second round of the playoffs. After playing one of the worst games they had played in recent memory, the Avalanche had a lot to improve upon. The top-six needed to step up in ways that it had not been doing. The defensive core needed to tighten things up so that Alexandar Georgiev could play his game and not worry about them. Here are the takeaways from the 5–3 victory over the Dallas Stars.


— Cale Makar really stepped up in a big way for the Avalanche tonight. He produced two goals in just over 26 minutes of ice time. In his previous 9 playoff games, Makar had only produced three goals. One of those goals was against Dallas in game one. Since then, the Stars have shut down Makar. He looked a lot more comfortable tonight, handling the puck and skating through the zone.

— Nathan MacKinnon openly admitted to the press that he did not play well in game four. His zero points and a minus three were all the media could concentrate on. Tonight was a different story. MacKinnon awoke the beast and was carrying the puck through the neutral zone and making more attempts on the net. He would end the night with one goal and one assist and a plus one.

— Special teams were everything that you would want it to be tonight. In the last eight power play chances, the Avalanche could not convert to score. Tonight, they scored twice on three chances. The penalty against Chris Tanev for high-sticking Mikko Rantanen may have been the game changer. Even though it was only a two-minute minor, the Avalanche wasted no time as Makar pocketed his second of the night. The penalty kill unit also killed three of four, making an enormous difference in the game.


This was the complete opposite of what we saw in game four on Monday night. The Avalanche were more aggressive and quicker to the puck. Yeah, you say that athletes have to put feelings aside when things happen, but the Valeri Nichushkin issue clearly affected them. And I don’t blame them one bit. But they looked as if they moved on tonight and adjusted their game. If the Avalanche go into game six on Friday night anything like this, Dallas better watch out.

Leave a Reply