The Colorado Avalanche are bad and they spent 60 minutes tonight trying to prove to you, me and anyone else watching of this fact. The beneficiary of this bumbling ineptitude was the Toronto Maple Leafs, who scored six times on their way to victory while also shutting out their opponent—because who scores anymore, right?
You may not have heard, but Auston Matthews has scored more than his fair share of goals in the early going of his rookie season. Naturally, the Avalanche would have to give one up too, so they did, just over seven minutes into the period, putting the team at its customary 1-0 deficit. It was Matthews’ 16th on the year and not likely to be his last.
Then Connor Brown scored on a power play, provided out of the goodness of Rene Bourque’s heart, to put the Maple Leafs up 2-0—and likely out of reach for an Avalanche team that isn’t keen on scoring goals. Brown was assisted by William Nylander and Jake Gardiner, who apparently don’t think scoring is icky.
Two goals in one period doesn’t sound like enough? Well Nazem Kadri didn’t think so either. He potted Toronto’s third goal of the evening on a fairly improbable tip with just 1:40 left in the first, because apparently the Avalanche thought they should make 90% of their television viewing audience flip Seinfeld re-runs on in disgust. (Everyone, that is, except for masochistic hockey bloggers who are risking their mental healthy to bring you this recap.)
The second period would be better, right? Wrong.
After a 5-on-3 power play, in which the Avalanche failed to score (because, of course), Jarome Iginla fired off one last shot, missing the net, which led the puck to shoot around the boards and land right on the stick of James Van Riemsdyk coming out of the penalty box. A flick of the wrist and the Maple Leafs would add yet another goal to their tally to make it 4-0.
The NHL is too low scoring? Toronto agrees! Frederik Gauthier (no relation to Sandy), who has played all of eight NHL games in his professional career, scored his first career goal on a wrist shot from the slot. Many Avalanche players could be found on the play, just...not marking Gauthier. At this point, Colorado determined goalie Semyon Varlamov had, mercifully, had enough and transferred his duty of watching pucks slide into the net to Calvin Pickard.
Still too low? Well, how about a sixth goal on a power play after a bunch of Avalanche players got throw in the box after taking issue with a massive neutral zone hit on Carl Soderberg. After issuing a handful of penalties, the referees awarded Toronto a power play, which they promptly scored on. Nazem Kadri would be responsible, his second on the evening.