The Colorado Avalanche are looking like the real deal right now.
Responding well to adversity is one of the true hallmarks of a champion and, after dropping their 2020-21 NHL season opener to the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday, the Colorado Avalanche showed what they are really made of in a perfect revenge game on Friday.
After a two-week Training Camp it was always going to take certain teams longer than others to settle into a groove and, I mean, we still are only a few days into the new season, but it was still a huge disappointment that the Avs dropped their opening game of the year 4-1 to the Blues after being lavished with a lot of hype during the offseason.
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However, one bad result doesn’t define a team and the Avs are an absolute juggernaut, loaded with depth, talent and a hell of a lot of firepower, and the real Colorado Avalanche certainly stood up on Friday.
In what was the second game of a short series against St. Louis, Colorado responded in emphatic fashion by lighting the lamp eight times while Philipp Grubauer pitched a shutout with 21 saves. It was the perfect response by the Avs and it also sent out clear warning signs to the other juggernaut in the West Division in the Vegas Golden Knights, as well as to the rest of the NHL.
Nathan MacKinnon entered the game with a three-point night (1 G, 2 A), Gabriel Landeskog had two goals and Andre Burakovsky and Mikko Rantanen both had two-point nights, while stud defenseman and reigning Calder Trophy winner Cale Makar also lit it up with three assists.
The Colorado Avalanche mean business
Basically, Colorado’s big guns all showed up to ensure that a repeat of Opening Night didn’t take place, and they provided a lesson in not only how to bounce back after suffering disappointment, but also how to take care of business in the most clinical and ruthless of fashions.
Those traits are the hallmarks of an elite team and that is exactly what the Colorado Avalanche are. They didn’t show up for the opener but they more than made up for it on Friday, absolutely blowing the doors off the Blues, who will be one of their main rivals for the West Division along with the Golden Knights, while looking goods at both ends of the ice.
Colorado just dictated the play from the first drop of the puck and they also showed great patience after the first period finished tied at zero, biding their time before pouncing and then absolutely opening the floodlights in clinical fashion. The Avs just refused to let their foot off the gas once Landeskog scored the first goal of the game, and they proceeded to beat up on the Blues until the bitter end.
It was also a memorable night for both Landeskog who recorded his 200th career NHL goal, and Rantanen who tallied his 100th career NHL goal, while MacKinnon scored one of the prettiest goals of the night. It was just a dominant showing from the Avs and they were led by their big guns, who put a disappointing setback behind them to remind why the rest of the NHL why they are a team that should be feared in 2020-21.
And they should be feared. This Colorado Avalanche team is stacked in every single area, they boast a deep prospect pool and they have one of the most talented players in the game in Nathan MacKinnon. So, while they may drop the odd stinker here and there as they did on Opening Night, those will be more of the exception rather than the rule and, as we saw on Friday, this team can really cause some damage when they are at the peak of their powers and they will be hard to stop in 2020-21.