Sometimes I forget to appreciate just how absolutely killer the Colorado Avalanche are. The Avs playoffs started tonight against the St. Louis Blues (my nemesis) and the Avs absolutely macked on them — both on the score sheet and morale wise. That all starts with the Avs captain, Gabe Landeskog. Landy has been leading this team for years and that shows, clear as day, in tonight’s game.
Landy had a Gordie Howe hat trick by the end of game one. Literally off the hop into playoffs, he shows that his team will not be pushed around. They will not take anything lightly.
First, he scrapped with Brayden Schenn after Schenn went knee-to-knee on Mikko Rantanen. It is fair to say that Landy beat the breaks off Scheen. Boom, boom, boom, let’s kill morale and get the ball rolling. 5 minutes after that, Cale Makar opens the scoring with a PPG (from a different penalty).
The Blues got one in the second, whoopty-do. But the third period–
It’s Avs season baby and there is no slowing down. Nate MacKinnon got a goal 30 seconds into the final frame to give the Avs a 2-1 lead. This is Nate’s first game back in a minute and it’s no shock that he was imminently scoring important goals. Who got an assist on that one? Mr. Gabe Landeskog (and Mikko). That checks the assist box of the Gordie Howe Hat trick.
Then, to tie things up with a little bow, Landy scored 8:30 into the third. The puck deflected off of a Nate Mac shot and into the net to give the Avs a 3-1 lead with 11:30 remaining. That closed Gabe’s Gordie Howe and with an addition empty net goal from Nate, it wrapped Game 1 for the Avs with a killer W.
Binnington was on it for once but if he wasn’t, this game would have been a blowout for Colorado. The Avs had 50 shots on net and if the goalie were anyone else, they could have had 8 or so goals. Binnington tried to fight the Avalanches’ goalie Philipp Grubauer at the end of the game but the refs stopped that while every other player was trying to scrap. I know I’ve said it a few times before but this series is going to be so good. I feel like we got lucky with having so many intense, interesting match ups in the first round and this one will be up there. The Avs and Blues have had beef before and it’s clear they they will fight tooth and nail to win. If you know me, you know that I cannot stand St. Louis. So let’s go Avs, go out there and kick ass like you’ve been doing all season. This team has been a real threat in the NHL for a while and this year they’re bound to keep it going deep into the playoffs. SO go, Avs, go, give me 50 more Gordie Howe hatties please!
Also: Check this blocked shot by Ryan Graves! WHAT A SAVE
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Featured Image: Colorado Avalanche Twitter