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RAPID REACTION: Rest Was Indeed A Weapon For The Avalanche



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We have spent the last few days pondering whether or not the Colorado Avalanche would look rusty or rested when Game One finally took place.

As it turns out, the answer is…both?

After one period, the Avalanche looked like a team that hadn’t played in a week. Their passes weren’t crisp, they took undisciplined penalties and they were chasing a little bit in the defensive zone. Every fear you had about this team getting a little too much time off had come to fruition.

Then, the second period started. Suddenly, Colorado looked like the team with all the energy, while the Stars looked like a team that was only a few days removed from finishing off a grueling seven game series. As it turns out, rest is indeed a weapon, and the Avalanche used it to their advantage on Tuesday night.

Colorado started to smell blood in the water, and outside of a brief burst in overtime by the Stars, the road team was clearly the better squad.

“I thought the fatigue from the Game Seven, I thought, hit us in the second half of that game,” Stars coach Pete Deboer said after the Game One loss.

It was very obvious from the press box. Dallas suddenly looked like they were skating in mud. They couldn’t connect on any passes through the neutral zone, and in the final 43 minutes of regulation, registered just seven shots on goal. Scoring chances were 20-9 after period one in favor of the Avalanche, with the comeback seeming inevitable.

Colorado hasn’t been good coming off long layoffs this season, but it wasn’t an issue for them back in 2022 when they won the Stanley Cup. They wanted to lean on that experience in Game One, and it looks like they did. The scary part if you’re Dallas is that you aren’t really going to get any time to rest. This game went to overtime, and after a single day off, they’re right back at it on Thursday night.

The Avalanche might found their rhythm after the first period, and that’s not good news for the Stars.

“I definitely feel better when I’m in a rhythm,” Nathan MacKinnon told me after the game. “I don’t love taking time off, but I think we’ll feel better as we play (games) two, three, four here.”

Colorado will look to take that commanding 2-0 series lead when these two teams meet again on Thursday.

Colorado's premier coverage of the Avalanche from professional hockey people. Evan Rawal, Editor-in-Chief. Part of the National Hockey Now family.

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