This game probably said more about Colorado than it did about Vancouver.
It’s been a tough year for Colorado. I don’t think they’ll garner a lot of sympathy from people given their Cup win last season and how strong they’ve been in the years leading up, given that they’re loaded with talent at every position.
They have missed lots of key players for extended stretches. Their second line in their Cup-clinching game last season was Nichushkin-Kadri-Landeskog. They’ve essentially been without two of those players to injury all season (Landeskog has yet to play) and Kadri plays for Calgary now.
The Avs were probably the better team in this game. They had a massive entry advantage and took a lot of shot attempts. The Canucks defended surprisingly well, and it took a run of three goals late in the second period to tilt the scoreline. That was it, but the Avs hung around, and if you’re playing them, you don’t want them to hang around.
I think everybody knows that if the Avs sniff a Wild Card spot, they’ll be a danger to make noise, especially if they can get everybody healthy. It’s currently January 16, the Avs are still 9th in the Conference on points percentage despite so many things going wrong (including two losses to the Canucks!) and are one of 8 teams with a positive goal differential in the conference.
If they can get to a point where Logan O’Connor and JT Compher look like excellent third liner players rather than below-average second liners with some interesting skills, they’ll be in a good spot.
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