The Colorado Avalanche have had many of their organizational woes masked this year by the breakout season Nathan MacKinnon has been having. He’s managed to take over the lion’s share of the team’s scoring this year, elevating them from a team badly in need of rebuilding to one that’s still within reaching distance of the postseason.
On Thursday night, that was no exception; MacKinnon scored both of Colorado’s goals in a close 2-1 win over the Florida Panthers.
While his continued dominance is a big story, though, credit to the two goaltenders in net; for both Semyon Varlamov and James Reimer, Thursday was a resurgent night with just three goals allowed between the pair. [Mile High Hockey]
Speaking of Nathan MacKinnon - if you haven’t voted for him for the upcoming 2018 All Star Game, it’s high time you do. Even though we can’t see the league’s biggest stars on the world stage in January, we can at least get them all together in one place and watch their antics in the shootout skills comp.
Speaking of a skills comp, let’s talk about Noora Raty for a minute:
If you don’t know her, she’s a Finnish goaltender currently playing for Kunlun Red Star of the CWHL in China. She’s a star for the Finnish women’s national team, a former standout for the Minnesota Golden Gophers (W) during her four-year NCAA stint, and oh... she’s one of a handful of women who has taken the net for a men’s professional hockey team.
She played eight games in the Finnish men’s second-tier league, Mestis, during the 2014-15 season, recording a .893 save percentage. She also played in six games that year in Finland’s Suomi-sarja, the nation’s tier-III men’s pro league, recording a .917 save percentage before earning a more significant role the following year.
She’s back to playing women’s hockey full-time, but that doesn’t mean she’s lost any of her edge. If anything, she’s a nice reminder that women’s pro sports are incredibly fun to watch, too.
In less-fun-to-watch pro sports news, though, the Boston Bruins seem to be at the end of their rope with forward Matt Beleskey. The 2015 free agent has played in just 14 games for the team this year, failing to record a single point, and he’s coming off a year that saw him in just 49 games with eight points to his name.
As a pricey, multi-year free agent, they’ve tried to make it work, but it was confirmed on Thursday that Boston went ahead and waived the forward anyway. [Stanley Cup of Chowder]
Also, if you’re looking for a new goalie for your team... it appears the Detroit Red Wings are looking for a buyer. [Winging It In Motown]
If you like Corvettes and goalie masks, Craig Anderson has a nifty new lid to show you. [InGoal Magazine]
Finally, we’re all glad that Marc-Andre Fleury is back in net. After all, where else can we find this?