While going down early despite dominating play, the Avs stuck with their game plan and poured it on in the middle frame with five unanswered goals to secure the third Presidents’ Trophy in franchise history as well as the Honda West Division title.
The team was determined right from puck drop and didn’t allow the Kings’ drawing first blood to deter their mission to capture an important victory and set them up for success heading into the postseason.
Nice shirt, Josty!
The home squad came out clicking on all cylinders and pinning LA in their own zone for large stretches of the first stanza including a middle stretch of the game that saw the Burgundy and Blue cycle the puck in the offensive zone for what seemed like two straight minutes.
With only 45 seconds remaining in the opening period, Andre Burakovsky lost the puck at the blue line which lead to a breakaway for Sean Walker who buried it past Jonas Johansson to give LA a 1-0 lead.
After the goal, it felt like the game could be one of those dominating performances that wasn’t accurately reflected on the stat sheet.
Enter Tyson Jost.
Jost has been arguably one of the team’s dark horse players all season long and while his scoring numbers are not flashy, his intangibles this season have been irreplaceable.
At the halfway mark of the second, the 10th overall pick in the 2016 NHL Draft got the party going for the home squad with a snipe right off the bench.
Less than two minutes later, Jost decided to add another tally off of a beautiful feed from Conor Timmins.
From there, the flood gates opened as the Avs tallied three more goals in the period from Pierre-Édouard Bellemare, Jonas Donskoi, and Andre Burakovsky.
The prettiest goal of the final three had to have been this absolute snipe of a writer from Burakovsky. On the goal, Cale Makar earned a helper and guaranteed himself over a point per game average over the course of his sophomore campaign — the only defenseman in the league this season to average more than a point per game.
The third period served as a formality more than anything else as neither team tallied a goal during the season’s final frame.
The Avs finished the 2020-2021 regular season campaign with 82 total points (39-13-4) and a points percentage of 0.732. Colorado earned the right to the West Division title and the Presidents’ Trophy by virtue of holding the tiebreaker over the Vegas Golden Knights with more regulation wins (35 vs. 30).
The accomplishment marks the third time in Avalanche/Nordiques history that the franchise has won the Presidents’ Trophy for the league’s best regular season record.
The win also secured home-ice advantage for the Avalanche in their quest for Lord Stanley. Having the distinct advantage to dictate matchups more often than not and giving coach Jared Bednar the ability to have last change will only serve to help this Avs squad. Having the home crowd behind you as well will also be a distinct advantage especially considering KSE was recently granted approval to increase Ball Arena capacity to 7,750 live fans (which equates to roughly 42% of the arena’s total capacity). The Avs also earned a casual 22-4-2 record at home — not too shabby.
Colorado will have three days off before starting their postseason run against Ryan O’Reilly and the St. Louis Blues on Monday. The Avs won the season series with the Blues (5-3-0).
The Avs will have three days rest and will begin their first-round series against the St. Louis Blues on Monday (5/17) at Ball Arena in Denver. Puck drop is scheduled for 8:00PM MST and can be found on NBCSN, SN1, and TVA Sports.