After each Colorado Avalanche playoff game, I’ll put out some rapid reaction on what I’m feeling right after the game, before gathering more thoughts for Plus/Minus in the morning.
I’m not sure there are enough words to describe what that first period of hockey was from the Avalanche, but here’s a few. Hideous. Ugly. Sloppy. Discombobulated. There are plenty more, but I think I can stop there. The Kraken dictated all the play and took the fans completely out of it. Outside of some booing, that is.
Luckily for Avalanche fans, the team found a way to recover. Sometimes, experience does matter, and I really believe that came into play on Thursday night.
Does the Avalanche team from 2-3 years ago recover from a brutal first period like that? Maybe, maybe not, but I tend to lean towards it being unlikely. But this team now knows that there is plenty of time inside of a hockey game to adjust and recover from a poor 20 minutes. The leaders inside that room know what it takes to win, and even though their Captain isn’t on the ice with them, he’s around the team and there to help out when needed. That was the case tonight.
“I think it helps to have guys, like with Landy, that he’s not so emotionally invested in it, and they trust him,” Bednar said after the game. “He’s their captain, and he carries a big voice.
Cale Makar spoke after the game about how there wasn’t yelling and screaming in between the first and second period, but rather calm. There’s no reason to panic. They had a brutal first period and they know it, but this is still a good team. Trust the process and trust that if you start playing your game, things are going to turn your way.
And that’s what happened. The Avalanche did not play their game in the first. Not even close. But that championship experience became a big factor after the first period, and now? Well, now we have a series.