The Colorado Avalanche tonight could not stop the one player they needed to. As a result, they lost to the Nashville Predators, just like they have so many other NHL opponents this season.
The scoring commenced when the Avalanche’s third line got stuck in their own zone—like they are occasionally wont to do. The Predators kept finding guys in open space and Colorado’s guys were powerless to catch up and contest the puck. Eventually, a whole bunch of Burgundy jerseys collapsed to the middle and all five-foot-four of Viktor Arvidsson skated between an unsuspecting John Mitchell, Carl Soderberg and Mark Barberio to receive a centering pass and score his 19th on the year and put Nashville up 1-0.
The Avalanche would eventually make their way on to the scoreboard before the conclusion of the period too. John Mitchell, controlling the puck high in the Predators zone, put what appeared to be a completely harmless blind backhand toward the net with Jarome Iginla engaged in front of the net with a defender. Iginla stuck out his stick to redirect the puck, but it would instead be his skate that caused the puck to veer off its initial course and past goalie Pekka Rinne to tie the game. The tally was Iginla’s 8th on the year, making him one of the hottest available commodities leading up to next week’s trade deadline.
During the second period, Colorado would take a lead on an even stranger goal, this one off the stick of Patrick Wiercioch. He took a drop pass from Jarome Iginla and skated the puck into the Nashville zone with a defender close in tow. Wiercioch harmlessly lobbed the puck toward the net to avoid the pressure, and then proceeded to watch it bounce in front of the crease and through Rinne, who would clearly never make it as a shortstop. The goal was Wiercioch’s fourth of the year and Iginla would pick up the primary assist for his second point on the night.
Then Filip Forsberg happened.
The tying goal was more or less a gift courtesy of Blake Comeau, who, instead controlling a straightforward pad save by Jeremy Smith in open space, managed to skate right past the puck, putting it on a silver platter for Forsberg. Though Smith was still in position, Forsberg still managed a near-perfect top-shelf shot to even up the game. He’d do it again later in the period, directly off a faceoff in the Avalanche zone. Ryan Johansen beat John Mitchell cleanly off the draw and Forsberg just put a quick shot on goal before anyone suspected. The goal gave the Predators a lead from which the Avalanche would never recover, despite rallying a good number of attempts in the third.
With two minutes, or so, remaining Colorado pulled their goalie and fired a couple of shots on net, but the puck eventually found Forsberg again, who fired toward the empty net and scored his third goal of the game. And if that wasn’t impressive enough, it was the second game in row he’d accomplished such a feat. Six goals in two games is good, right?
(This is also where we tell you Forsberg was drafted with the 1st Round draft pick Colorado traded for Semyon Varlamov in 2012.)
Colorado drops to 16-40-3, which is downright terrible. They will attempt hockey again on Saturday at home against the Buffalo Sabres, likely with the help of Erik Johnson returning from a long IR stint.