Just going to go right into the observations tonight:
- Valeri Nichushkin won the game for the Avs tonight, no question in my mind. He scored the first goal and set up the OT winner, and in between he was tremendous. This, from a guy who was out a week on the Covid list.
- Relax, enjoy the moment, I’m always telling myself. Stop worrying about the past or the future. But I’m already worried about not being able to afford Big Val, Kadri or Burky this summer. All can walk as UFAs.
- It’s not too late for Joe Sakic to try and sign any one of these three guys to an extension before they go UFA. If I’m Joe, I’m on the horn already with their agents trying to get something done. The price very likely will only go up from here.
- This division race, in the Central, is about over to me. No way do I see the Avs losing to any of the teams in the division from here, for the title. Especially, with the games they have in hand on some.
- Well, one thing is clear: This Avs team is much better than many recent ones, in overtime. Jared Bednar is coaching smarter in OT than he used to. I guess I can’t really quantify that scientifically. But he has the guys who should be out there now all the time, especially Makar and Toews, one or the other.
- Avs are now 16-1-1 in the last 18 games. My sources tell me that is pretty good.
That extends the franchise record and is now tied for the sixth-longest home winning streak in NHL history. Only seven teams in NHL history have won 15 straight games on home ice, the most recent of which is the 2016-17 Washington Capitals (Jan. 1-March 4, 2017).
The Avs’ 11 wins in January (11-0-1) match the most victories in a single January in franchise history (11-1-2-2 in 2003-04) and is just one shy of equaling the club’s most wins in any month (12 in March 2021).
The Avalanche’s 23 shots in the first period were a season-high and the club’s most shots in a period since March 18, 2021, vs. Minnesota (25).
- Landeskog, on the game: “We obviously got a lead pretty early on in the game, but offensively we had some zone time in the first period and we were able to create, I don’t know how many shots we had in the first period, but it was a lot. [We] got a little bit pretty I think and that cost us to maybe get a little bit frustrated and you just leave a team hanging around. You don’t capitalize and build that lead or at least build a lot of momentum, you know you leave them hanging around and obviously they get rewarded on a couple. It’s just overall, I think it’s just defensive habits and we were just a little bit light in a lot of situations and a lot of brain farts out there that aren’t supposed to happen at this point in the season, but I’m very confident we are going to clean all of these things up moving forward.”
- Don’t you kind of wish the playoffs could just start tomorrow?
- Is it OK to say something nice about Darcy Kuemper? Listen, there have been some shaky moments this year, but the saves percentage after this win, overall, is .913. Goals-against down to 2.63. The won-loss record is 19-5-1. Let’s recognize that he has been pretty good most of the year.
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