The Avalanche scored a - well - avalache of goals against starter Antti Raanta and the Arizona Coyotes this past Saturday night, heading off for the Christmas break with an impressive win over the league’s worst-performing franchise.
The two teams squared off again the day after the break, though - and while Colorado was the clear winner ahead of Christmas, it seems the cookies and holiday ham caught up with them a little too much.
Arizona scored just one minute in, seeing middle-six forward Tobias Rieder earn his sixth goal of the season to kick things off.
Although Mikko Rantanen would follow with a goal of his own not long after, a pair of goals from Alex Goligoski and Lawson Crouse sealed Colorado’s fate - and they’ll now head into their final days of 2017 after a lazy-looking loss to a rebuilding club. [Mile High Hockey]
Part of that, of course, has to be attributed to the team’s biggest loss since... well, their most recent suspension. This time, though, no one did anything wrong - Tyson Barrie just broke his hand, and he’ll miss over a month as a result. [MHH]
Speaking of suspensions, though... Zac Rinaldo will miss the next six games for the Coyotes, earning his hefty suspension for sucker-punching Samuel Girard in the fateful Saturday night game. As his fifth NHL suspension, it’s hard to imagine Arizona will be all that thrilled to get him back when his suspension is over. [MHH]
Looking around the league:
We talked a lot about Johnny Bower in Wednesday’s Morning Flurries, because he meant so very much to so many people in the hockey community over the years.
The Athletic posted a free-to-all story on the netminder, with quotes from players who both remember the days of Bower’s Stanley Cup wins and guys who were impacted years later by his off-ice presence. It’s a touching, heartfelt tribute to a guy who we really can’t say enough good things about. [The Athletic - no subscription required]
Want to know just how kind he was, btw? Check this out:
Here's Boom Boom crashing into Johnny Bower. Instead of feeding him a few blocker shots, he helps him untangle his skates from the net. pic.twitter.com/D2ttT9AjPP— Marc Dumont (@MarcPDumont) December 27, 2017
Meanwhile, just how long can the Vegas Golden Knights keep winning? [Knights on Ice]
Finally, Colton Point is having himself a tournament: