The Colorado Avalanche have finally started to pick things up again, after closing out October with a slew of losses that seemed to be snowballing their season early on.
They kicked off their turnaround when they picked up a 4-1 win over the hapless Edmonton Oilers last week, then went on to pick up a 6-3 win over the Boston Bruins before squeaking out a point in overtime against the defending Stanley Cup champs.
Then, on Sunday night, they picked up yet another win — this time doing so on the road in sunny Southern California.
Facing off against veteran Ryan Miller, the Avalanche fell behind in the first period, but then used the atrocious defensive collapses that Anaheim has been putting on to exert almost nonstop pressure on Miller and keep the game within a goal in the second period. A final regulation tally in the third sent the game to overtime, and the duo of Mikko and MacKinnon helped the team skate away with two points. [Mile High Hockey]
If you’re more into fighting in hockey, though, maybe the Avalanche aren’t the team for you. There’s a new enforcer in the NHL, and he’s willing to fight literally anyone:
little kids get a once-in-a-lifetime chance to play on the ice during the intermissions of NHL games. it’s adorable.— david ehrlich (@davidehrlich) November 18, 2018
last night, one of those kids decided to go rogue and use his time in the spotlight to fight Gritty. twice.
1st kid ever penalized between periods. i’m weeping. pic.twitter.com/xFf4FZOsLy
In other news, Nate Schmidt is back!
The Return of Nate Schmidt— Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) November 17, 2018
coming to a TV near you tomorrow pic.twitter.com/9mTsbuQFyS
The Vegas blue liner was suspended for the first 20 games of the season after testing positive for a controlled substance, which sparked some interesting debates on how leagues can improve their PED testing. Schmidt was insistent that the amount he got pegged for came from packaging cross-contamination in a supplement the team had recommended he take, which begged the question: how do leagues make sure that doesn’t hurt innocent players without taking away the ability to nab guys who are just incredibly sneaky?
In any case, the former Capitals defender spent his suspension training with the Vienna Capitals in Austria, where he got to connect with his roots a bit. [The Athletic]
For one WHL goalie, this weekend was pretty special:
Finally, Brad Marchand is the troll the league still hasn’t figured out what to do with yet — and now, his coach seems to be getting in on the trolling, too. The antagonistic winger earned himself an admittedly unfair penalty for a phantom call earlier this past week, so his coach decided to call out the officials for it. [NESN]
Because, you know, Marchand never does anything wrong: