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Game Review

Avalanche Score TD In Win Over Lightning

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Colorado avalanche nichushkin
Jon Locher/AP

The Colorado Avalanche had a 2-0 lead and a 3-1 lead in Game 1 over the Tampa Bay Lightning. They won the game in overtime thanks to an Andre Burakovsky one-timer 1:23 seconds in. Tonight, the Avalanche got the lead and then maintained it for 60 minutes. After going up 3-0 in the first, they never looked back.

Special teams continued to be effective as Valeri Nichushkin got the Avalanche on the boards first and early. Nichushkin showed what he was capable of in the regular season, and yet had another level still to bring. In two games he as three goals against the Lighting and 13 points through the playoffs. He is due for a large contract extension this offseason especially how he had played in the playoffs.

“He’s a train for us,” said Makar, “He’s such a hardworking guy and it shows on the ice.”

He’s so valuable for us in every single zone, whether it’s even just pickin gup speed in the neutral zone and getting that o-zone entry or helping all the d-zone breakout.” Said Makar. 

Darcy Kuemper didn’t face a lot of shots, 17 to be exact, earning the shutout. He kept his cool as the Lighting tried to rattle his cage. Just like the rest of his teammates, the Avalanche stayed calm, cool and collected as they didn’t take unnecessary penalties to allow the Lighting back into the game. Kuemper played big and confident. Just the game he needed to have.

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“Yea they got guys, that’s how they play. It is what it is.” said Darcy Kuemper on the Lighting playing aggressive in the crease. 

Mikko Rantanen has found himself with a five game point streak, which started Game 1 against the Edmonton Oilers. He has compiled 11 points since then with the three assists tonight.

“I thought Mikko was really good too,” said Bednar, “I mean that line right away, to get us going, it looked like he was making really good decisions with the puck as well as making plays, going to the net hard and strong.”

Coach Bednar spoke all year about this teams depth and ability to score in different ways and we saw that on display tonight. Scoring in the playoffs is already a challenge, scoring seven goals on the defending back-to-back champions and the best goalie in the NHL is no small feat. The Avalanche mindset won’t change however, even after a blowout win. 

“Our goal is to go out an better that performance again.” said Bednar. 

The Avalanche will head to Tampa with a well earned 2-0 series lead. They remain undefeated on the road this year and but you can imagine that Tampa will want to rebound after being embarrassed in Denver.

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Rich

Anything thoughts on if Choo Choo will actually leave for free agency? He seems to truly love being an Av who gave him a chance to turn his career around.

Adrian Dater

I’d say his price is $7 million per now, maybe 6.5

Rich

Dater – so what are the chances he returns next year? No disrespect, but I say they are better than the numbers you predict? My guess is 3yrs at 5 million per.

Peter North

I think $5M is reasonable. Four years. Beats living in Moscow!

JD16

Joe’s probably wishing he extended him at the beginning of the season, right about now.

Spencer Bradshaw

Joe already tried to extend him, and they couldn’t agree on a number.

Ryan Krueger

AD, why can’t Kelsey respond to comments? Makes me wonder if she really exists.

Peter North

No way! A raise from $2.95 to 7 is a joke. I’d say $5 to $5.5 is all the Avs would tolerate. Plenty of good players out there dying to play on a winner.

Flounder

IMO him staying is now unlikely unless he gives the Avs a discount for the Avs giving him a 2nd shot, etc. They can’t really afford to go to 7mil with Val is my guess. At least not if they want to keep some of these other guys around like Byram (eventually) and also sign a better goaltender to replace Kuemper next season. But hey, I can’t blame Nuke. Go get your money if that’s what you prefer. If the Avs win a cup because of his contribution then it will still have been worth it.

Last edited 14 days ago by Flounder
Joel Stefaniak

Avs absolutely need to resign him, top priority.

Rich

Agreed. Nuke is of highest priority to resign for Joe even over the likes of Kadri, Burky or Kuemper

Peter North

I am not worried about Val. Much depends on the agent. How greedy, et al. Val has expereinced the bad of the NHL for sure. He will stay. Might have to lose Kadri or Girard or similar. Once we win the Cup, a ton of long-timers will line up to be a Helm or Cogliano. Plenty of talent to continue the depth strategy. And Joe will deal girard to replenish the prospects he dealt. With their defense learning on the fly how to lock down teams, any goalie would do. Several out there for the Avs to sign if Kuemper’s… Read more »

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