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Avalanche Game 74 Recap: Ticket Punched

The Colorado Avalanche clinched a playoff spot in dominant fashion against the Nashville Predators

By Clyde E. DawkinsPublished 22 days ago 4 min read

Phase One: complete.

The Colorado Avalanche's first attempt to lock in a playoff spot came up short, but the main story of that game was the controversial end of Nathan MacKinnon's home point streak, which remained official after a long review. So MacKinnon had a proverbial axe to grind, and who better to grind it against than the Nashville Predators in the last leg of Colorado's homestand.

The goalie matchup was Alexandar Georgiev vs Kevin Lankinen. Avs had the first shot on goal, but the Preds had a flurry of them afterwards. One of them went in; Cole Smith struck early in the game, but less than two minutes later, it was Jonathan Drouin tying it up, and the assists came from Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen (I dared them to steal that assist from Mack). Then the wave of insanity started. MacKinnon was penalized for goaltender interference even though he was hip-checked into Lankinen by Ryan McDonagh (remember that name). Preds went on the power play, which became a 5-on-3 after a ticky tack tripping call. However, Ryan O'Reilly's penalty made it a 4-on-3.

All of the penalties were killed off, but moments later, Mark Jankowski gave Nashville the lead back, and Dante Fabbro scored 41 seconds later. It was 3-1 Preds, but an Avs power play allowed Casey Mittelstadt to make it a one-goal game, and the GI that happened was caused by Colton Sissons, so it was good. 3-2 was the score after 20 minutes, but within the first minute, Gustav Nyquist made it 4-2 for Nashville. Right after the goal, Georgiev was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct--he shot the puck over the glass. Georgiev's night ended up done, as Justus Annunen filled in the rest of the way, and Nashville went on the power play; it was killed off.

Then at 3:11, Ross Colton was brutally elbowed in the head by McDonagh, aka "Mr. Hip Check." See, if they had penalized him earlier on that shit in the first, this wouldn't have happened. "It better be five"--those were my words. After a review, the boom got lowered. Match penalty! 5 and 10. McDonagh's night was done, and he'll be expecting a call to the principal's office, aka Player Safety. Major power play for the Avs, and remember, a major power play only ends when the entire clock runs out. It looked slow at first, but Artturi Lehkonen's one timer struck gold, and it was a one-goal game. The power play continued on, and the Avs almost tied it on several occasions, but couldn't. Refs continued to refuse to call anything on Nashville; while the Avs were on another PP, Cale Makar was mugged by two Preds players. No whistle. However, Makar would later tie the game on the power play, and barely over a minute later, after a turnover, Yakov Trenin scores on the team who traded him.

Avs led 5-4 after 40. As the saying goes, "Karma's a bitch." The refs tried so many times to hand the game to Nashville, yet look what happened. The 3rd period saw the Preds out of gas; MacKinnon struck early in the frame, and much later, with the goalie pulled, Mack put it in the empty net. It was all over for the shouting right there, and for the Avs, it meant playoff time!

To think--all of this started with a three team trade six and a half years ago. For the seventh straight year, the Colorado Avalanche are playoff bound. Let's look at the last six years, shall we? In 2018, we were happy to be there, but still made it a series against a high powered Preds team. 2019 saw us dismantle the #1 team in the West, and come within one win of the West Final, while also ending up in the lottery that year (thank you, Ottawa Senators). This was followed by second round losses in 2020 and 2021, but in 2022...Stanley Cup Champions. We were upset last year by the Seattle Kraken, but IMO, I don't think that dented us in the least.

The Avs are on a whole other level this year. Nathan MacKinnon is in beast mode, he is the league points leader with 127 points (47 G/80 A). Mikko Rantanen's three helpers put him at the century mark as well. Cale Makar is leading defensemen in points. If all goes well, we are looking at the Hart, Ross, and Norris winners on this team. The Avs have a lot to go with those three as well: Artturi Lehkonen, Valeri Nichushkin, Devon Toews. Jonathan Drouin's having his best season ever, and our new deadline acquisitions have been producing very well. In addition, Alexandar Georgiev is having another stellar year in net, while Justus Annunen has been quite the solid back up.

Cup #4 is definitely a big time possibility, but first thing's first. We got in. Next step is the Central. It's a close race between the Avs and the Dallas Stars, and the two teams have one more meeting left this regular season. For now, the Avs are playoff bound, and our homestand is a successful one: 3-1-1--completing a month of March that saw the Avs go 10-2-1. The Avs' final eight games will be played in the month of April, beginning with a trip to Columbus on Monday.

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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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  • Philip Gipson22 days ago

    Your sports senses are tingling in all the right ways.

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