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Avalanche Game 58 Recap: The Renewal

The Colorado Avalanche return to the road to face off against a longtime familiar foe in the Detroit Red Wings

By Clyde E. DawkinsPublished 2 months ago 4 min read

I was 10 when the Quebec Nordiques moved to Denver and became the Colorado Avalanche, and it didn't take the team long to have a big time foe in the Western Conference: the Detroit Red Wings. It came to a head in that Western Conference Final in 1996, which saw the Avs actually win in six games over a Wings team that won 62 games (an NHL record until last season). From that point on, Avalanche/Red Wings became the top rivalry in the NHL in the final nine seasons before the lockout.

Overall, the Avalanche and Red Wings met six times in the playoffs, with three of those occurrences coming in the Western Conference Final. It was said that those series were the real Cup Final, especially the series in 2002. Because the teams ran into each other a lot in the postseason, the regular season matchups got all of the pomp and circumstance. I enjoyed this rivalry, and as much as I despised the Red Wings, I immensely respected the big names who were on that side: Brendan Shanahan, Darren McCarty, Kris Draper, Chris Osgood, and of course, Steve Yzerman. However, we would counter with Peter Forsberg, Milan Hejduk, Alex Tanguay, Patrick Roy, and our faithful captain, Joe Sakic.

Nowadays, the rivalry has lost a lot of weight. The big names from the past are retired, and the Wings moved to the Eastern Conference. But on this night, fans of both teams looked back once more, as the Avalanche and Red Wings ran into each other for the first of two times this season, and it's not the Joe anymore--that's been gone for seven years not. The first half of this set took place at Little Caesars Arena, though they did get a version of the Joe's goal horn.

The goalie matchup was Justus Annunen vs Alex Lyon, and the Avalanche dominated in shots. It was 3-0 early on, and at that halfway point, the Avs led 7-3. A power play helped add more shots, but none of them went in. After 20 minutes, it was scoreless, but it was a good period for the Avs. In the second period, the Avs finally broke through, and it was Nathan MacKinnon scoring his 34th goal of the season, and picking up his 93rd point, needing only seven for his second straight 100-point season. Annunen continued being a brick wall, and the second period ended with the Avalanche up 1-0.

The third period saw the Avs continue to get the shots, but so did Detroit, though Annunen was still stopping everything. It really looked like the 1-0 score would hold, or the Avs would make it 2-0, but the Wings went on the power play and scored. Dylan Larkin tied it up, and the 1-1 score was holding up as the third period progressed, but with barely over one minute left in regulation, Detroit ended on the power play on a very ticky-tack holding call. The regulation portion saw Annunen pick up a HUGE save on a sure goal with just seconds left, and after the final ticks ran off, we had overtime.

So we got a point, but we still had over 40 seconds left on the penalty kill. The Avs killed off the rest of it, and after Detroit iced the puck, it became three-on-three. The Avs had good chances, including a Bowen Byram breakaway, but that fell through. On the other side, though, the Wings flew off to victory, and of course, it was Patrick Kane who won it.

We owe Justus Annunen a lot of thanks. After all, if it wasn't for him, we lose in regulation. He got us that point. We should have picked up the second one for him. Avs fans had a lot of questions regarding Annunen, or any backups behind Alexandar Georgiev, but on that night in the Motor City, Annunen came to play. At least Nathan MacKinnon added another point, but thanks to Nikita Kucherov picking up one, MacKinnon still trails by two (95-93). One player who needs to pick up points is Cale Makar, he is on a big time dry spell, and it's concerning.

Thankfully, the Dallas Stars also lost, and their defeat was in regulation. So the Avalanche picked up a point in the standings, and trail Dallas by one point in the Central Division, though had we won, we would have taken the division lead via tiebreaker. The Avs have two meetings left with Dallas, and both of them are in Ball Arena, and we've won both meetings in Dallas. The next meeting takes place this upcoming Tuesday, but first, the Avalanche will host the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday.

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Thank you for reading my recap! Click the heart if you liked it, click the subscribe button for more of my stories, and feel free to comment below! Tips and pledges would also be appreciated, but only if you want to do so!


About the Creator

Clyde E. Dawkins

I am an avid fan of sports and wrestling, and I've been a fan of female villains since the age of eight. Also into film and TV, especially Simpsons and Family Guy.

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Comments (2)

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  • Philip Gipson2 months ago

    This recap was absolutely thorough.

  • Alex H Mittelman 2 months ago

    Great sports reporting!

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