What a feeling! Ten games in a row, with a little help from the Toronto defensive core being injured. The Avalanche are now venturing through Canada with a 1-0 record for the time being. Last nights game was not a game where the Avs played a full game. I think 30 minutes of the game were “Avalanche Hockey” as Coach Jared Bednar would put it. The Maple Leafs were dictating the game for all of the second period and a good portion of the third. They put the Avalanche back on their heels but the boys still pulled out the W.
Mike Babcock does not seem like a coach that has billboard material in his locker room. If he did have it. the first item on the list would have read “#29 Nathan MacKinnon”. They needed to find a way to shut him down because he has been on a fire. I would say they did. MacKinnon was held off the scoreboard for the first time in a long time last night but it is alright. One of the marks of a great team is when primary scoring dips, secondary scoring picks up. That’s what happened last night. We had goals from Gabriel Bourque (2), Nail Yakupov (9), and Comeau(9). I know Landeskog (17) scored too but it was an empty net goal. The secondary scoring goals were timely and gritty goals.
Gabriel Bourque has been up and down a few times this season. I think him and Rocco Grimaldi are a true blessing for the Avalanche team. They are two tremendously fast and gritty players for their size. Sven Andrighetto has been out for a while with a leg injury. Grimaldi and Bourque play in a very similar fashion and fit his role on the team very well. Last night Bourque kicked off the scoring after Freddie Anderson left a juicy rebound on a Tyson Jost shot. 1-0
Immediately in the second period, you could tell Babcock had lit a fire underneath the Maple Leafs. Patrick Marleau took a one timer and buried over the shoulder of Bernier to tie the game at 1. 1-1
Not too much later Auston Matthews tallied a goal only to be revoked because of goaltender interference. There was not much to look at but Matthews ended up loving Bernier’s blocker arm with his stick preventing him from being able to make the save. Not even two minutes later Auston Matthews scores again, and guess what this one counts! 2-1 Leafs, this is the first time the Avalanche have been behind in a game in the last 10 games.
Not even a minute later the Avalanche bring the game back to even 2-2 on the back of a defensive turnover by the Maple Leafs. Alex Kerfoot picked up the puck and drove the left wing side and dished back to the center of the ice to find a streaking Nail Yakupov who hammered home a one-timer to make it an even game once again.
Comeau tapped the game-winning goal home right on the doorstep from a perfect pass by Carl Soderberg.
All of the lines were able to contribute other than the first which is great. The first line kept pushing the Maple Leafs back and the other lines took advantage of that and potted three goals and locked up the win for the Avs and sweep the season series with Toronto.