Five games into the preseason and the Avalanche still have yet make a tally in the loss column. How much does this matter? Still not a lot. They’re not starting their best lineup and neither are their opponents.
Still, there’s something to be said—albeit small—about the top 40 or so players in your organization managing to win every game against their counterparts on other teams. Hell, they even won both of their games during September’s Rookie Showcase against the Sharks and Ducks.
There’s no losing going on, like, at all!
Tonight, Colorado beat the Dallas Stars 1-0 in an up-and-down game that featured stretches of dominance along with the “playing with the lead” malaise we’ve come to know so well. It’s a good thing the Avalanche goaltenders have been up to the challenge. Having combined now to allow just four goals in five games, both Semyon Varlamov and Calvin Pickard look eager to start the season as soon as possible.
Pickard stopped all 28 shots he saw tonight, earning the team’s second shutout in two nights (and one bad ass save photo: featured above). Andreas Martinsen put the evening’s lone goal on the scoreboard, tapping home what sounded like some nice passing from Ben Smith and Mike Sislo.
From the sounds of the radio broadcast, Nikita Zadorov had himself an excellent evening playing on the top pairing with Erik Johnson and the statistics back-up these claims. Zadorov had a 64.29% CF on just 45.45% O-Zone starts to lead the team. It will be interesting to see what the pairings are in the final warm-up game in Los Angeles. There will likely be a few people in the organization interested in seeing this combo one more time.
Also dominating possession for much of the game was the Gabriel Landeskog, Nathan MacKinnon, Matt Duchene line. At one point in the second period, each of these guys were above 70% CF, clearly dominating weaker competition. Could this be a line that sticks going into the season? I sure hope so.
After making some cuts tomorrow, Colorado will then head to lala land on Saturday to the play the Kings.
Oh, and it’s on TV!!!