It’s a good time to be an Avalanche fan.
The team’s 4-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday evening — on the road in Philly, nonetheless — just catapulted the team to first in the NHL, earning them a coveted spot at the top of the league just over one full year removed from their spot down at the basement.
It was a close game through 20, a still-somewhat close game through 40 to boot. But a third period with another two goals for Colorado was only soured by Philadelphia breaking Semyon Varlamov’s shutout streak — which, given his current .953 save percentage through six appearances and counting, is something he can live with. [Mile High Hockey]
It was more than just another win, and a league-topping one at that, though. It was also a record-setting night for the team’s top line.
With nine-game point streaks for both Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen, the pair have set a franchise record to open the season. [NHL.com]
Oh, and then there’s our boy Gabriel:
First off, he’s the league’s first star of the week. [MHH]
Our captain is really hot pic.twitter.com/li7EQDVpHL— Mile High Hockey (@MileHighHockey) October 20, 2018
For some more depth into that, here’s a look (behind a paywall, but we know some of you subscribe) into just how productive the captain has been this month. There are four games left to go, and he’s already having the hottest month of his career. [The Athletic Denver]
While we’re looking at paywall stories, by the way, this one is well worth it. Ryan Clark — who has wonderful taste in shoes and is an all-around very fun human being — took a deep dive into the behind-the-scenes of the heartwarming Tim Horton’s game for Team Kenya. I try not to force too much paywall content on you, but Clark has been hustling lately and deserves the extra shout here.* [The Athletic]
Looking beyond paywalls and Landeskog, by the way, ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski is ready for this to be Nathan MacKinnon’s best season yet. [ESPN]
From around the league:
If you can explain what happened in this clip, go right ahead:
At first, I assumed that Carolina had just been smacked real hard by the lucky stick. But further inspection led me to the discovery that the Detroit Red Wings took just 21 shots on former team starter Petr Mrazek all night — and it looks like at least half of those came in the above sequence alone.
This summed it up nicely:
It might just be me but I think the shot clock operator is just subtly adding a shot every couple of minutes to the Wings' total— Prashanth Iyer (@iyer_prashanth) October 23, 2018
Carolina absolutely mailed it in during the third period, taking just three shots over 20 minutes. And they STILL outshot Detroit 39-21.
I don’t know how to explain that, but it’s a special kind of bad we’re witnessing in Detroit this year.
If you’re already ravenous for some draft rankings, here’s an early look at who’s projected to go where. [TSN]
Also, the Chicago Blackhawks placed goaltender Anton Forsberg on waivers. Here’s a bit on that; Colorado doesn’t need him, but he may end up somewhere happier than Chicago. [Second City Hockey]
Finally, another day, another Gritty Halloween costume:
OMG Someone went as Gritty for Halloween and it's AMAZING. pic.twitter.com/KHx7cqDYIT— Cam (@tinfoiltuque) October 21, 2018
*For those curious why I link to The Athletic and not BSN Denver: full disclosure, I do write for The Athletic as well, but it has much more to do with the fact that noted good boy Adrian Dater has me blocked on Twitter from both his personal and the BSN Denver twitter accounts. Hard to share work if I can’t see when it goes up! Sorry, Dater.