It's been a minute since the Colorado Avalanche last took the ice.
A lot has happened since the Colorado Avalanche's last game. Of course, there was this big thing in Toronto known as the NHL All-Star Game, with the Avalanche being represented by Nathan MacKinnon, Cale Makar, and Alexandar Georgiev. The trio played on a team captained by MacKinnon, but the group lost to a team captained by Connor McDavid in the opening minigame of the four-team tournament, which was won by the team captained by Toronto's home superstar, Auston Matthews.
Before the All-Star Game took place, the Avalanche actually acquired Zach Parise, signing him to a one year deal. It's a hall of an acquisition; Parise's 39, but he still have some game. I've seen him with the New Jersey Devils, the Minnesota Wild, and the New York Islanders many times, but I never thought the Avs would have him on the squad. Parise's looking to do something he's never done in his career: hoist the Stanley Cup. This may be his best chance to do so.
The Avs entered the break leading the Central Division by one point over the Dallas Stars, but the race was quite close. As more proof that the schedule makers had too much to drink this year, the Avs' 2nd half starts with a six-game road trip! First up on the docket: the world's most famous arena, Madison Square Garden.
The goalie matchup was Alexandar Georgiev vs Jonathan Quick, and this game was quite chaotic to start. Avs had a 4-0 shots advantage before getting the game's first power play, yet that saw the New York Rangers get a pair of shorthanded chances. PP was killed off, but the Avs got another one, which was also unsuccessful. Later on, we see Mikko Rantanen and K'Andre Miller get into it big time, and that leads both of them to the box. However, Rantanen ended up with the extra two minutes, which Parise served. Hey, how about that? First game with the Avs and he gets a pair of PIMs.
Rangers get their first PP, but with 30 seconds left, it becomes 4-on-4. The call was a trip. Here's the thing. Nothing tripped up Miles Wood. The Avalanche announcers actually thought that Josh Manson's stick tripped Wood, but the replay showed that Wood fell on his own. No trip, but the call stood. Avs had a PP after that, but that amounted to nothing. However, late in the opening frame, the top All-Star himself, Nathan MacKinnon, made it 1-0 for Colorado. That was the score after 20 and after an uneventful second period as well. However, the third period saw the Avs press, but it would be the Rangers who tied it up, and of course, it was Artemi Panarin. Close calls from both teams the rest of the way, but the game went to overtime.
Avs nearly won it early in that OT period, on two occasions. I swear, Devon Toews had an open net in his attempt, and there was a crazy play where Quick went out of the net and nearly passed the puck to Ross Colton. Those chances were denied, but Alexis Lafreniere's wasn't. The #1 overall pick of the 2020 draft put one in past his former teammate in Georgiev, and the Rangers prevailed.
Amazing game overall, hoped for a win, but snagging one point isn't bad. Speaking of points, that's yet another one for MacKinnon, who is now tied with Nikita Kucherov for the league lead with 85 this season. In addition, MacKinnon's goal was his 32nd this season. He's definitely getting 50. As for surpassing the top spot in goals, well, that's another story. This was another good outing from Georgiev, even in defeat, he was mostly a brick wall. Seriously, Georgiev's name should be mentioned in regards to Vezina consideration.
So at the moment, the Avs are at .500 on the six-game road trip; an OTL in Game 1. Game 2 will take place on the next night, as the Avs will be off to New Jersey to face the Devils.
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