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Avalanche Gameday: Focus On 60, No Concern For Star Players

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The Colorado Avalanche felt pretty good about how they played in Game One. Even though they were down 3-0 in the first period, it didn’t feel that way. Even Pete DeBoer, coach of the Dallas Stars, said as much this morning about the first game in the series.

Game Two was different, though. The Stars found themselves up 4-0, and they probably deserved that. On Saturday night, with the series shifting back to Denver, the Avalanche are looking to put it all together.

“Our goal tonight is to have a good, full 60,” Mikko Rantanen said this morning. “I think we haven’t done it first two games. Second game, it was the second period, so we try to find the consistency to keep the puck out of our net more than we have.”

Rantanen is one of those guys that the team is looking for more out of. In Game Two, he was held without a shot on net during 5-on-5 action, and finished with just one overall on the evening. He wasn’t alone. Nathan MacKinnon and Casey Mittelstadt were in the same boat. Given their skill level and history, their coach doesn’t exactly worry about these guys.

He knows they’ll be ready.

“Those guys will get going,” Bednar said. “I know they’ll be better tonight than they were the other night, and it should help steer us in the right direction.”

When two good teams face each other, it’s never really one team dominating the other. The Avalanche are a really good team, but so are the Dallas Stars. Their players and coaches have something to say about what happens as well, so there’s going to be momentum swings as the series goes on.

Other News And Notes

  • I don’t expect any lineup changes for the Avalanche tonight, and Pete DeBoer confirmed that the Stars won’t make any changes either.
  • Jonathan Drouin skated again in a powder blue jersey, and doesn’t look ready to return to action just yet. I can’t imagine it will be much longer, though. Gabriel Landeskog joined the team in full gear, but didn’t do much at morning skate. He likely did his on-ice work prior to the media getting there, which is something he can’t do on the road when ice-time is limited.
  • DeBoer is an interesting guy, and I’ve come to appreciate him these last few days. He greets everyone by their name when they ask a question and has a sense of humor. No wonder his players seem to like him a lot.
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Karl Keen

I feel like the team that can keep that one game ahead through this series will be the team the wins if it goes to 7. For that reason, winning tonight needs to happen.

Tdub

Dallas did a great job defensively against the Avs big guns last game. I expect that to change tonight.

Ken

96 and 29 are losing this series at the moment. (End of 1 right now, game 3). 2nd pp unit looks way better than 1st. Mack missed his line change on goal against, spun useless circles in our zone until goal was scored. He would have been better off going to bench than what he did. Rantanen made 1 good play, and that was only because Dallas turned the puck over while Mikko was lazy getting back.

Ken

Now after 2, I feel that we will probably win this game due to altitude. I stand by the opinion that Miko and Mack are hurting more than helping and Bednar is the reason we don’t get good play from them.

Ken

My bad…apparently the team that has played more games and is not acclimated to altitude, will have more energy and desire to win in the 3rd. I cannot even fathom the lack of urgency and complete failure to adjust to what Dallas was doing. Anyone else notice that we came out hitting for first 10 minutes of the game and we’re consistently knocking Stars down. That could have really worn them out, except we didn’t deliver another decent check the rest of the game. So frustrating to watch the team that should dominate, just play like they expect the game… Read more »

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