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Thoughts/Observations from Avs’ latest win



Gabe Landeskog
Jack Dempsey/AP

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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Adrian Dater - Kiss and Larry Bird fan. Writer with @Gambling and @Bookies, Avs Insider with 104.3 The Fan. Denver Post, SI, Bleacher Report alum, author of seven books.

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I don’t know how many shots we had in the first period, but it was a lot.

I love it! He is definitely Captain material.


Sign them early, Could be a postseason strategy too: Kadri #1 if the demand isn’t too ridiculous, otherwise focus on Nuke, such lockdown skills to add to his long reach, strength on the puck, set-up and scoring ability. I fear the Avs won’t be able to pay Burky enough to keep him from leaving. Maybe that won’t be the end of the world with Newhook developing into a fine player and Olausson in the pipeline. What about Kemps?

Tonight – another close one but maybe that’s not so bad!


Damn, Dater. Playing with fire (read: Dater jinx) on that fourth observation. 😉


Mr.Dater, your points are spot on and this team is very exciting. It’s already in 3rd place as far as best Avs teams. However, they are definitely making a run at number one! You are doing a great job and I will be signing up for more of this excellence asap!


My question regarding our potential unrestricted free agents: If they are not staying with the Avs, where would they go anyway? The majority of the league’s teams are at or near the salary cap! And of those 11 or so teams with meaningful cap space, only the Rangers and the Predators are in the playoff picture at the moment! Indeed, with 21 teams straddling at the cap ceiling or frankly above it, it seems to me the league is not a player’s market at the moment!

Aaron Rud

I agree. I’m not looking forward to losing those guys, but there is no way they keep Kadri. He’s 31, and he’ll understandably want one last huge contract. I’d definitely keep Val. Burky?? Meh. I like him, but he’s got a lot of dead games. Needs consistency.


Interesting that a lot of us want to keep Val, especially after his time with Dallas. He is a little like the Phoenix-rising from the ashes. Mark one up for Joe.

  • (AD) Don’t you kind of wish the playoffs could just start tomorrow? My answer is no. A lot more work to be done on our defensive structure and although it has been an incredible run, I don’t believe we have peaked yet.
Ryan Krueger

But everybody is healthy now…

Bob Neal

The Kuemper critics seem to have gone back in the closet. I think you and I were part of the very few that defended him. Between the two goalies I think the Avs have a winning hand and hopefully stand pat. I was surprised Dallas got rid of Val the first time I saw him play, big, fast, high energy and reasonable hands. I certainly hope they hang onto him. AD, quit worrying about next year already. Let’s enjoy this year as they should finally get past the second round.

Yan Girard

Was there critics towards Grubauer during the regular season the last year? Kuemper remains a risk for the playoffs. Who knows how Kuemper will manage the pressure in playoffs? If the Avs have two easy rounds and lose because the goalie in third round, you are satisfied because the Avs past the second round? I dare to hope that Sakic doesn’t a loser mindset like this.

Frank Fish

Except that Keumper does NOT have a proven poor track record in the playoffs playing in front of cup contending teams. Grubauer DOES have that poor track record. Grub was benched during the Caps cup run. He was also poor against Vegas last year, especially in game 6. The higher the pressure went up, the worse Grub played. I agree that DK still has to prove it in the playoffs, but I’ll withhold judgment on him until the playoffs. We already knew Grub wasn’t the guy in pressure moments. If DK turns in a so-so regular season combined with an… Read more »

Last edited 8 months ago by Frank Fish

The new Avs in overtime have been a revelation. What’s happening from what I see is that they are taking care of the puck and playing solid defense three on three. Instead of wild chances, they are measuring and only attacking when they have a distinct advantage. With the Avs skaters and playmakers – – it’s easy to create space and mismatches. A wonderful turnaround from last years “loosey goosey” approach. And, I don’t see much of Sam Girard in a lot of these overtimes. I’m not trying to pick on Sam – – but three on three – –… Read more »

Yan Girard

Fewer players on the ice, less the hockey is physical. Your theory is ridiculous. If the management share your thoughts, I hope than Girard will be traded. It will be better for his career. During the last games, Girard played despite an injury. It would be easy to sit down in the stands but Girard is a warrior.


Totally incorrect, Yan. More space on the ice but easier to knock someone off the puck in overtime during three on three. If you are not physical enough to withstand that, you lose that one on one battle with no one to support you. You never read my comments in their entirety. I’ve stated multiple times – – Girard has played well in many games this year. He is a force in the open ice and especially on the power play. They don’t win last night’s game without his stellar assists. But Girard will always be a defensive liability due… Read more »

Last edited 8 months ago by ricoflashback
Yan Girard

More space on the ice but easier to knock someone off the puck in overtime during three on three”. Good joke 🙂 Three on three, you put the players with skills and speed. Visibly, you don’t know not much in hockey.


Yan, you are totally ignorant about hockey. I’ve forgotten more about hockey than you know. Your posts often consist of a hodge pudge of obscure statistics that don’t add up to squat. You’re from Canada, right? Stick with Curling. It’s more your speed.

Yan Girard

The hockey isn’t the Football. You forgot that the national sport in Canada is the HOCKEY.

Olympic USA track record hockey in the last century :
Lake Placid 1980
Squaw Valley 1960

Very impressive!

Look the players of Avs from USA vs CAN…

Again more impressive! 🙂

Again once, you demonstrate that your level of knowledge the hockey 🙂


Yes, but Curling is more your style. I grew up a Toronto Maple Leaf fan with CKLW and “Hockey Night In Canada.” And as usual, your info on the national sport of Canada has nothing to do with the original post and your complete lack of knowledge about overtime – three-on-three hockey. You’re a legend in your own mind, Yan. Thin veneer of hockey knowledge lacking depth, substance and understanding.

Yan Girard

Martin St-Louis, Daniel Briere, Ryan Ellis, Brayden Point and Brad Marchand are all the players who don’t play or didn’t play in overtime because they are too small? After a bit more one minute in overtime, the Avs score a goal. Girard didn’t have time to jump on the ice and you deduce that Girard cann’t play in overtime because he is too small? We understood, for each situation, Girard is too small and he shouldn’t play in NHL.   After some loses in overtime, you was the guy who told that the Avs should play in the way to… Read more »



…and I would make that trade to keep one or both of those 2 guys.

With Makar and Toews, this team has more than enough offense-capable D-men.

Hope Barron develops and we don’t rush him. I’ve counted Byram off my mental roster for 18-24 months. That kid needs to get his head clear and pack on another 20+ Lbs. He plays like he’s 215 and no way he’s more than 180/5 soaking wet.

Go Avs!


My ‘Agree’ was with the assessment that Sam would be best dealt to apply $ to keep Kadri and Val….not the flame part 😀.

Easy does it, boys! 🍻

Adam Manter

Can we talk about how good of a shot that Newhook has in the slot on the second power play unit? Would love to see him play that same role on the first power play unit.


I think you’ll see more of Newhook on the power play. You’re right – in the slot is his wheelhouse. A deadly accurate sniper shot.

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