If we learned anything tonight, it’s that this 2016 Avalanche team still has some 2015 in them.
Colorado would win 4-2 tonight for what would appear to be their second solid preseason victory, but this was a different performance entirely—one that probably deserved a loss.
Once again, this wasn’t the opening night roster, but the Dallas Stars weren’t lining theirs up either. By all accounts, the product on the ice for the Burgundy & Blue was clumsy and disjointed and, not unlike a handful of improbably victories last season, was thoroughly out-shot by their opponent. Perhaps this group is having a harder time adjusting to it’s new coach’s system, but it sounds like the players on the ice had a harder time getting the puck up ice.
It didn’t start off all that ugly. Big Joe Whitney got the scoring started 8:58 into the period off a Tyson Barrie cross-ice pass, right at the tail end of a power play. Dallas would then tilt the ice until the buzzer and end up out-shooting Colorado 18-6 CF 5v5 during the period. Goalie Calvin Pickard kept Dallas off the scoreboard, but it didn’t feel like it would last.
Alas, it did not.
Dallas wasted no time evening up the score in the second period, taking the opening face-off and throwing it into the Avalanche net before eight seconds could even come off the clock. The goal was scored by 22-year-old Czech forward Radek Faksa, trying to make the Stars again after playing 45 games for the big club last season.
Not satisfied with just one, Faksa would put Dallas on the board yet again not three minutes later with Brett Ritchie and Patrik Nemeth tallying assists. The shots against were getting downright silly at this point, with Dallas ending up ahead 17-8 CF 5v5 in the second period. The penalties were getting silly too. Cody McLeod, unable to help himself, drew a charging penalty after destroying former teammate Andrew Bodnarchuk into the boards, and then drew another five minutes for fighting. The rest of the Avs were just as sloppy, giving the Stars a man-advantage two other times in the period. Yet, Pickard continued to keep his team in the game.
Not to be outdone by Faksa’s early second period goal, Francois Beauchemin blasted one home himself through a Gabriel Bourque screen just twelve seconds into the third! And then Ben Smith tipped another one in during a power play to give Colorado their second lead.
Finally, after holding Dallas scoreless for 19:26 of the third, Patrick Wiercioch buried an empty-netter to seal the game at 4-2.
The Avalanche would be out-shot 5v5 49-21, pretty much making it the most 2015 ever.