Did I just witness the perfectly-played hockey game? I think I did Friday night here at Ball Arena. The Avs, history would show, were as close to perfection as you can get, winning 8-0 over the St. Louis Blues.
Gabe Landeskog’s two goals (Nos. 199 and 200) led a second-period in which the Avs turned a scoreless game into a 4-0 affair after two periods. Mikko Rantanen, Andre Burakovsky and Nazem Kadri added goals in the first 45 minutes, which is about when I started writing this story and not paying so much attention to the action anymore.
“We weren’t happy at all with the game we had Wednesday, and we kind of left Gruby hanging by himself,” Landeskog said. “We wanted to play better tonight, and we did.”
The Avs just played a superb game from wire to wire, having a 29-13 advantage in shots on goal in the first 46 minutes. Philipp Grubauer had an easy time of it for his first victory since August of last year.
The Avs’ top line of Landeskog, Nathan MacKinnon and Rantanen had 12 shots in the first two periods, one more than the Blues had as a team. The Avs just dominated in puck-possession time, rarely granting the Blues anything more than a remote one-and-done scoring chance.
MacKinnon and Joonas Donskoi added late third-period goals to turn it into a true laugher. The Avs won’t play their next game until Tuesday in Los Angeles. Colorado Hockey Now will be there.
This is probably why the Avs have been favored by the sportsbooks to win the next Stanley Cup. It can’t be overstated how well they played. They had a 34-15 shots advantage with 6:08 left, when they went on another power play. Blues goalie Jordan Binnington was chased after two periods.
The defense was airtight, first on pucks constantly. I’m not sure I can remember a single truly dangerous Blues scoring chance. Not in the first 55 minutes, anyway. There was a breakaway by the Blues with about three minutes left, but Grubauer made the save.
“We know that wasn’t St. Louis’ best and we got some good bounces,” MacKinnon said. “If we play that exact game again, I don’t think we’re going to score eight. But obviously it was a fun game.”
Notes from Avs PR: