This was always the kind of game Avalanche teams of the last decade, maybe more, would always find a way to lose. At home, against an opponent that seemed overmatched on paper, at the end of a homestand; those were the kinds of games the Avs always seemed to lose and then talk about the lessons they needed to learn. Then, rinse and repeat some time not long after that.
So, this Avs team proved something to me and maybe some other longtime watchers Saturday night. Make no mistake, this game could have easily gone to the Arizona Coyotes. They may have deserved to win it, actually. But they didn’t. The Avs did. The Avs have yet to play a truly wire-to-wire game in dominating fashion, and maybe those games just don’t exist anymore in the NHL. The parity among the teams is that close.
That the Avs won Saturday, 3-2 in overtime, despite not playing their best game – to me that’s a great sign of things to come. That the Avs know they have not played their best yet – and seem to really have that as the goal – that’s an even better sign.