1st Period: No goals were scored during the first twenty minutes of hockey-playing on this day. Minnesota outshot Colorado 15-9, so in terms of overall play, it wasn't much better for the Avs than the previous games against Nashville and Chicago went.
2nd Period: Like the first twenty, there were no goals scored in the middle twenty minute stretch of action today. Shot totals improved for the Avs to a 27-22 mark, but it was clear Minnesota had control of the game. Colorado's "great" chances weren't nearly as "great" as Minnesota's "great" chances.
3rd Period: This period got off to an entertaining start after Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk decided to slash Avs' captain Gabe Landeskog. Landy took exception, and decided to fight Dubnyk which was thoroughly entertaining. Wild players naturally came to the defense of their goaltender, but Landeskog and the Avs won the brawl. In case any Wild fans disagree with that, the captain got the game's only goal more than halfway through the third on the power play. From there on after, Minnesota hit a post and had a goal disallowed because Eric Staal tried to cause second degree murder of Calvin Pickard, but all is well. Colorado won its first home game against Minnesota since Game 2 of the infamous playoff series in the spring of 2014. More than two and a half years have passed since then, so it's nice to put that streak in the history books.
Mr. Fish's Three Sardines:
#3: Mikko Rantanen: Rants gets his first NHL point today as the secondary assist to Landeskog's goal. Matt Duchene got the primary apple, but after a stretch of good play from young Mikko, he's on an NHL scoresheet for the first time. His first goal will come sooner than later.
#2: Gabe Landeskog: A great third period from Colorado's captain via the fight of Dubnyk and the game's lone goal. Landeskog maybe hasn't done as much in sixty minutes on a consistent basis as the Avs would like or need, but he came through in a big way in the last period today.
#1: Calvin Pickard: In an opinion that's sure to not draw any conversation, after today I believe Pickard needs to become the Avs' starting goaltender for the foreseeable future. Obviously you give Varly the start tomorrow at Scottrade Center against the Blues, but I think Pickard has made a strong case to get a majority of starts right now. Three games, five goals surrendered (three of which came against the defending Cup champs), and three wins in each of his starts. I'm not saying Varlamov is the sole reason why Colorado lost its first two Central division match-ups this week, but Pickard is clearly not hurting.
Mr. Fish's Three Flounders:
I really can't distinguish which Avs were the least impressive today, primarily since Pickard bailed out every Avs player at least once, and Colorado's skaters were all either 0 or +1 in the +/- column today. I say we just enjoy today's win and prepare for more possible disappointment tomorrow evening when the Avs face the Blues for the first time this season.