Just like the game against Florida the other night, this game against the Rangers made for a lively, fun building – and happy customers on the way out. That’s eight wins in a row now at home for the Avs. The crazy thing is: the Avs are only two points out of fourth place in the Central Divison, and only in third place as it is.
But the Avs have three games in hand on St. Louis, which has one more point, and two games in hand on Minnesota, which has three more points. Tomorrow’s Avs opponent – Nashville – has just one fewer point than the Avs, but Colorado has two games in hand on them too. Translation: the Avs need to keep winning.
Tomorrow’s game, by the way, is still on, despite a Covid outbreak with the Predators. I talked to someone from the league, and it’s game on – as of now, at least.
About last night…
- I still can’t believe that goal by J.T. Compher was disallowed by Toronto, for goalie interference. Alexandar Georgiev came out of his crease and, to me anyway, initiated contact with Compher, who was just playing the puck after hitting the post with his first shot. Compher’s leg/hip area slightly grazed Georgiev’s mask. But, again, he didn’t initiate the contact. Yet, he gets the goal taken away. That disallowed goal almost cost the Avs the game, as a 4-1 lead was negated, the Rangers made it 3-2 and, if not for a big left pad save by Darcy Kuemper on Chris Krieder, the game would have been tied up in the final minute.
- It sure seemed like the referees gave Rangers coach Gerard Gallant an awfully long time to make up his mind if he wanted to challenge the play.
- Nathan MacKinnon: he’s had at least a point in all eight games since coming back from injury. He’s got his legs back underneath him, and blowing by everyone again. That setup pass he made on Mikko Rantanen’s goal in the first period was Exhibit A. MacK still is going for the Reverse Cy Young, with three goals and umpteen assists, but he’ll score goals again.
- Cale Makar, with 13 goals, has, statistically anyway, a shot at the all-time NHL record for goals in a season (48), set by Paul Coffey in 1985-86.
- Makar on his torrid pace: “I guess the pucks just seem to be going in right now. I don’t anticipate it continuing throughout the year, it’s a little bit of a heavy pace right now. It seems cliché but a lot of credit goes back to guys moving the puck well and then creating lanes for everybody, especially even the goal that I scored tonight. Comph is just in front of the net, that doesn’t go in if he’s not there.”
- Say what you want about fighting in hockey, but Kurtis MacDermid’s win over Ryan Reaves really fired up his team, and I thought made a difference in the game. Exhibit A:
— Dude Where's Makar (@joelthesakic) December 15, 2021
Nazem Kadri (3a) returned to the lineup and recorded his 12th multi-point game of the season. It was the sixth time this season that Kadri has recorded three or more points. Only Alex Ovechkin (6), Connor McDavid (6) and Leon Draisaitl (9) have just as many or more 3+ point performances this year. Kadri ranks fourth in the league with 37 points and second with 26 assists.
- I thought Justin Barron played well in his 9-plus minutes of ice time. Nothing fancy, just meat-and-potatoes, effective hockey. Just like Nathan MacKinnon told him: “I just told him to keep it simple, have fun like everyone else. He’s from Halifax, I skate with him in the summer, great guy, works really hard and really nice kid. I thought he played great tonight. I’m not sure what his minutes were, but you know he kept it solid. I think he was a big part of Val’s first goal and it’s great to have another good D-man on our team.”
- Jared Bednar said Pavel Francouz will start a game very soon. He didn’t say anything about tomorrow night, but maybe it’ll be in Nashville.
- Bo Byram still isn’t skating. He’s been around the team, working out in the gym at least.
- On his 92.5 radio show today, Jared Bednar said Gabe Landeskog is “doing very well.” Sounds like he has a shot at playing some time next week.