Not all of tonight’s game felt as lopsided as the final score, but it certainly would by the end, as the Avalanche completely fell apart in the third to drop their third game of the road trip 5-1 to the New York Islanders
Tonight’s scoring kicked off with a name we haven't been able to mention in the scoring column for, oh, 51 games. Joe Colborne, who kicked off his Avalanche career with an opening night hat trick, had been held scoreless ever since. That is, until Fedor Tyutin stole the puck in the neutral zone and pushed it up to Andreas Martinsen, who then found Colborne wide open skating up center ice. One deke and an awkward point-blano hockey stop and the Avalanche would have themselves a 1-0 lead 8:12 into the first period.
The Islanders would strike back a few minutes later after an extended possession in the Avalanche zone. Francois Beauchemin got posted up right in front of goalie Calvin Pickard; and instead of doing something about it, he opted to serve as the perfect screen for Nick Leddy, who fired a perfect dart far-side to tie the game. Pickard won't see this pick until he reviews the game tape.
New York would take their first lead in the second after a pair of penalties committed by the aforementioned Joe Colborne (boarding) and Fedor Tyutin (hi-sticking). This mistakes led to a five-on-three power play and eventually a goal from Ryan Strome, who one-timed a nice pass from John Tavares through the slot.
And then, like far too many other games this season, the wheels came off for the Avalanche when the third period rolled around.
The first evidence of this embarrassing collapse was after former Avalanche prospect Johnny Boychuk pinched in along the boards and skates down low to maintain possession for the Islanders. He then slid a beautiful pass in front of the net to John Tavares, who dumped it over to Anders Lee for the easy score.
Lee would score again ten minutes later on a power play, assessed after a bunch of roughing calls ended up in New York’s favor. Johnny Boychuk, again, made a brilliant pass, skating into open space and disguising a feed to Lee in the slot with the appearance of a slap shot.
The resulting goal would make it 4-1, which was plenty of scoring to ensure the Avalanche would never ever be able to come back, but Jason Chimera was not yet satisfied. He beat Tyutin along the left-hand boards like he was standing still and then overcame the blatant hook Tyutin attempted instead of playing defense to slide a fifth goal past Pickard and conclude the evening’s onslaught.
Colorado now falls to 15-36-2, still dead last in the NHL.