I don't know what it is about the 2nd period, but it is almost single handedly making the Avs' season so far. Some games (like tonight), the Avs have come out flat. Other games, they coast towards the finish line. But that middle period? That's keeping them in hockey games, and up in the standings. It's nothing really new. In each of the last 4 seasons, the 2nd period has been the Avs' best offensively. Goal totals over those 4 seasons: 224 in the first, 233 in the 3rd and 289 in the 2nd. Why? Honestly, I don't have the foggiest. It just seems to be what it is.
The Avalanche looked terrible in the first 20 minutes, although, to be fair, the Predators played excellent hockey early on. With Brett Clark taking an early penalty, Nashville was able to convert and jump on an early 1-0 lead. Marcel Goch later made it 2-0 and, really, it could have been much worse. The Avalanche limped to the dressing room after 20 minutes lucky to be down by just two.
But, as has been the case all year, the Avalanche came to life in the 2nd period. Terrific passes by Milan Hejduk, David Jones and Chris Stewart set up goals by Ryan Wilson, Hejduk and Marek Svatos and in just over 14 minutes, the Avalanche turned a 2-0 deficit into a 3-2 lead. The couldn't seal the deal, though, as Shea Weber scored late in the 2nd period to tie things up and both teams tightened it up in a scoreless 3rd period.
There's been a lot of talk about the large number of shootouts this year. Like a lot of people, I fall into the "hate the shootout, but admit it's fun to watch" category. It's true; I think the shootout is a ridiculous way to decide a hockey game, although I find them exciting. But tonight's game is a good reminder that OT can be every bit as exhilarating as a shootout. Yes, Nashville was the team to score, leaving the Avs with a solitary loser point, but that was 3 minutes of wild hockey. Frankly, I'd much rather see OT extended to 10 minutes. If you still want a shootout after that so that there aren't any ties, I'll stop complaining. But you have to get rid of the loser point. Please.
To our American readers, have a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving tomorrow! For everyone else: we'll see you early on Friday; the puck drops in Minnesota at 2pm eastern.