What’s that about a Vegas hangover? Someone should have told the Colorado Avalanche rookies what time the game started last night. The team looked absolutely dismal early on, taking a lot of bad penalties and falling behind the Vegas Golden Knights 5-0 after only one period. Star prospect Martin Kaut did not make a very good first impression as he took back to back penalties in the first three minutes of the game.
The baby Avs looked a little better in the second as they finally got on the board with a Logan O’Connor goal, assisted by Ty Lewis.
Vegas extended the lead to 6-1 before Petr Kvaca was finally replaced by Justus Annunen midway through the second.
The combination of O’Connor and Lewis continued to show a lot of chemistry as Ty Lewis scored the team’s second of the night, making the score 6-2 going into the second intermission.
The Avs were able to make the score respectable with two Brandon Saigeon goals early in the third period. After one more Vegas goal, the Avs cut the lead to one with a goal from Matthew Boucher and and a second from O’Connor.
The Avalanche had a few powerplay chances near the end of the game but were unable to capitalize as the game finished 7-6 for Vegas.
The score in these games don’t mean a whole lot, but there are a few things you can take away from the game. Petr Kvaca stinks. Martin Kaut had a very rough start to his career in an Avalanche jersey and the combination of Logan O’Connor and Ty Lewis are going to bring some instant chemistry to the Eagles this season.
Around the league
All eyes were on Laval, Quebec yesterday as Montreal Canadiens prospect Jake Evans spent the night in hospital after being stretchered off the ice during a game against the Ottawa Senators rookies.
Evens was knocked unconscious after taking a hit to the head.
Luckily, Evans was released from hospital after a short stay and will be monitored by team doctors. Head over to Habs Eye On the Prize for all the updates.
“It was dirty,” said Canadiens first-round pick Jesperi Kotkaniemi about the hit. “I don’t think it belongs in hockey.”
Here are some reactions to the hits from Evans’ teammates. [HEOTP]
In happier news - if you’re a Sabres fan - Ramsus Dahlin is already proving that he is the real deal. The 1st overall selection in the 2018 draft was able to score twice, while adding an assist in his first game action in a Buffalo jersey.
Speaking of top draft picks, the guy selected immediately after Dahlin - and the player your truly believes could end up being the best from the draft class - Andrei Svechnikov had two goals of his own during Carolina’s opening game of the Traverse City Prospects Tournament.
Hey remember Matt Duchene?
Well our old pal is set to become a free agents at the end of the summer, and when speaking to the media in Ottawa this week, he certainly doesn’t sound like a man who is committed to the Senators long term. Duchene insinuated that if Erik Karlsson and Matt Stone decide to move on, the former Av might be right behind them. [NHL dot com]
The Avalanche know a thing or two about young Russians that the hockey world doesn’t know very much about. In that vein, here’s here’s a look at 25 year old Igor Ozhiganov - a young defender who has made his way over to North America with the hopes of cracking an NHL lineup. [PPP]
If the Avalanche hope to get back to the playoff this season, one team they’re going to have to worry about is the division rival Minnesota Wild. The Wild are a team that likely needs everything to go right in order to be as good as last year - and the season isn’t starting off that way. Ryan Suter hasn’t been medically cleared to practice after undergoing ankle surgery back in April. He will meet with team doctors next week, but even if he gets the green light, it’s hard to believe that a player who didn’t skate all summer will be up to speed when the regular season starts.
You know who’s really good? Elias Pettersson.
The 5th overall selection in the 2017 draft - yep, one spot behind Cale Makar - is going to make the Canucks this season and he’s likely going to run away with the Calder Trophy.