All good things to describe this game. Analysis over, see you Wednesday night.
Just kidding of course, as we have to talk about the domination the Colorado Avalanche just served to the Montreal Canadiens. They wound up on top 8-4 thanks to an incredible two periods of just taking control and wreaking havoc at the Centre Bell in franchise win 1,100.
With the win, the Avs move back up to third in the Central Division with 80 points ahead of the Winnipeg Jets by one point. However, they are four points behind the Minnesota Wild and also five points behind the Dallas Stars as of the publishing of this article, who play the Seattle Kraken later tonight.
Colorado seemed as if it could melt the ice almost immediately with the heat it brought. First, Logan O’Connor tallied himself on the board as he threw one into the net through traffic. It would end up being later credited to Artturi Lehkonen.
The Avs continued to threaten and looked almost certain to get a second goal. Before you knew it, Bowen Byram pulled off an insane goal to look like his partner Cale Makar to get around Jake Allen and into a gaping net.
Just after, Lars Eller would get his first point in an Avalanche uniform as he chased down a dump-in. It allowed him to find Matt Nieto who pulled a move to get past a sprawling Allen for a 3-0 lead.
Sam Girard tried to follow suit of the other two defenders on another rush up the ice afterward but took a big hit in the process. However, his defensive partner Byram would draw a high-sticking penalty.
It proved beneficial as Lehkonen just seconds after his tribute video played, would tip in Mikko Rantanen’s shot on the power play and receive quite the cheer from the Habs home crowd as they knew he scored it this time round and make it a 4-0 game.
Colorado was cruising when Ryan Pitlick would lose an edge and go down hard right in front of the boards. Devon Toews was called for a penalty for it for some reason, but the Avs managed to kill it off. Right after the kill though, Josh Anderson gave the Habs some life heading into the room tipping in a shot past Alexandar Georgiev to make it 4-1.
The onslaught continued, as Mikko Rantanen was able to corral the puck right in the crease and put it home past Allen for a 5-1 lead.
Not long after, J.T. Compher got in on the action as he finished off a beautiful move by Valeri Nichushkin to make the lead even larger. It would also be the end of the night for Allen as Sam Montembault came in relief.
The Avs still kept the foot on the gas and credit to Montembault for making several saves including a ton on the top line on a great shift and on Lehkonen who was this close to finishing his hat trick. But, Lehkonen’s robbed shot would be his last action as he left the game with an upper-body injury.
Then, MacKinnon was called for tripping, and frustrations boiled over from both him and the Canadiens as Jack Johnson and Kevin Ghule got matching roughing minors. It gave the Habs a power play which they converted with Denis Gurianov, snapping a streak of 17 straight kills by the Avs to make it 6-2 heading into intermission.
After a couple of post hits by the Avs and Habs respectively, MacKinnon got in on the scoring. He was tripped by Rafael Harvey-Pinard and then went about 150 feet and put it away to score the touchdown and earn the tacos with the 7-2 lead.
What looked comfortable for the rest of the game wasn’t as comfy as it seemed. Chris Wideman responded soon after with a goal from distance, and then seconds later Mike Matheson finished it off to make it a three-goal game.
While it was close, it didn’t stay as close for long. Nicuhshkin followed up on another drawn tripping penalty by MacKinnon by completing a beautiful tip in front of Montembeault to make it a four-goal lead again.
Byram then dropped the gloves with Michael Pezzetta with neither really throwing any punches. Therefore, both received roughing penalties and 10-minute game misconducts. Nieto tried to put one last rush in the net but couldn’t do so, and wrapped up what was an eventful game which saw the Avs manage to end up with an 8-4 win.
I mean, what else can you start with other than wow? What a statement by the Avs. The offensive prowess of the Avs was well-documented in the first two periods. Perhaps the nicest part of the scoring from the game was who the points came from. O’Connor got two assists, Nieto with an assist, Eller with his first point as an Av with an assist, and Sam Girard with an assist to name a few. In total, there were 13 different point scorers and they went 3-for-3 on the power play.
Lehkonen will get a special shoutout as this was his return to Montreal after being traded at last season’s deadline. He recorded three points tonight as he had two goals and an assist in his return and most certainly would have been looking for his hat trick. But, he wouldn’t have the opportunity to do so as he exited the game in the second period with an upper-body injury - the only bad headline of the night. Hopefully, it is not a long-term injury and he was simply held out for the rest of the game because of the scoreline.
The road trip continues with the hardest match of the trip, as they continue in Canada against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Puck drop is on Wednesday night at 5:00 p.m. MT on TNT.