When all was said and done, the playoffs were a bittersweet icing on top of the season after all.
Colorado managed to outlast the New Jersey Devils in the East and every other eliminated first-round Western Conference team out their way, winning two games in an ultimate 4-2 series final outcome.
Coming into the postseason, everyone knew it was a long shot to see much of anything. The Nashville Predators were one of the league favorites to contend for the Cup, the Avalanche were riddled with injuries, and it remained a rebuilding year despite the promising outcome. Still, hope is a funny thing — and when all was said and done, the first-round elimination still brought a hearty sting.
For those who somehow missed the final game (or are finally ready to look it back over with a day to ease the heartbreak), here’s your rundown of how the Avalanche finally lost their steam against a relentless Nashville lineup. [Mile High Hockey]
All things considered, it wasn’t Andrew Hammond’s finest hour. Although Game Five showed him playing a more controlled and concise style than he had in previous years (likely thanks to some new coaching oversight), Game Six was what happens when desperation hockey isn’t made for a Disney blockbuster movie.
There’s still the hope that Nathan MacKinnon will win the Hart Trophy, though, and that Jared Bednar will get a nod for the Jack Adams (even if that is Gerard Gallant’s award to lose).
Really: even P.K. Subban says so. [TSN]
Subban gets a lot of hate around the NHL, but his words on MacKinnon were a fantastic reminder of why he’s loved by just as many. His support of the younger forward was confident, collected, and reasoned, with nods to a few of the other players that have clearly been in the hunt this year and a quick nod to his own goaltender as well; it’s obvious that he thought long and hard about what he was going to say, and used an incredibly eloquent opportunity in front of the media to throw his support behind his first-round opponent.
Whether he aggravates you on the ice or not, it’s clear that Subban gets results. And when he does stuff like that, it’s very, very hard not to give him a tremendous stick tap.
Meanwhile, speaking of Jared Bednar, the head coach earned a one-year extension the day after the season ended, with the team renewing their confidence in him and giving him a chance to earn a longer-term, higher-dollar deal next summer. [MHH]
We’ve also got the entry draft coming up!
The Avalanche are reportedly unlikely to see Ottawa’s first-round pick this year, which isn’t altogether surprising. The team lottery-protected the pick, as is standard protocol in the NHL nowadays, so the Senators have the option of holding on to this year’s first and handing Colorado their first next season instead.
There’s always the chance that the Senators give up this year’s for the chance to get Jack Hughes next season, but either way, the Avalanche will have some interesting choices to make this summer regardless. Here’s your required reading on who’s who of the draft coming up in a few months. [MHH]
Now, before we move on to what happened in the playoffs Monday night, your food for thought for the week:
Your mom is on to something. This should be the rule, for entertainment purposes. pic.twitter.com/VRPebw5Tb8— Marc Dumont (@MarcPDumont) April 22, 2018
Yes, yes please.
Alex "Disappears in the playoffs" Ovechkin has more 5-goal playoff seasons than anyone since 2005 and has never played more than 14 games— p- second round lmao (@averagecapsfan) April 24, 2018
Alex Ovechkin scored playoff goal #50 on Monday, which is absolutely insane. Now, we get this:
We get Capitals-Penguins in the next round, which means we get Ovechkin and Malkin together— SB Nation (@SBNation) April 24, 2018
This is BEEF HISTORY pic.twitter.com/vPHCNNd7si
It’s been a horrific shitshow of a series between the two Atlantic Division teams, but it was a nice night for good Swedish boy William Nylander:
William Nylander!— Flintor (@TheFlintor) April 24, 2018
Finds the rebound and scores his first of the series. Game tied 1-1. pic.twitter.com/zxPPkLk3bT
In other news, the Leafs are leading the series in games where Patrice Bergeron plays, so should they scratch the beleagured center? #MyColumn*
*No, they should not.
Finally, a hearty congrats to Jenny Cavnar, who kicked ass and took names last night while calling play-by-play for the Rockies.