5 takeaways from the Avalanche’s 8-0 rout over the St. Louis Blues – The Denver Post

Two nights after playing poorly and losing its opener 4-1 to the St. Louis Blues, the Avalanche bulldozed the Blues 8-0 on Friday at Ball Arena. The game story is here.

Five takeaways: 

Confidence 

Just two games into the season, the Avs already realize how dangerous they can be. And they proved that against one of the NHL’s best teams, the 2019 Stanley Cup champions.

Colorado will still have bumps in the road, a bad loss here and there. But they’ll remember Game 2 against the St. Louis Blues and how good they can be when everyone is on their game.

Scoring depth/power play

Seven Avs scored goals Friday. SEVEN! And the Avs were 5-of-7 on the power play.

Colorado’s eight-goal win is its second-largest margin of victory in 25 years, since they defeated the San Jose Sharks 12-2 on Dec. 5, 1995. The Avs’ eight-goal margin of victory in a shutout was a new club record.

The Avs five power-play goals matched the club record with the 2017-18 team on Feb. 20, 2018 at Vancouver.

We knew this team could be dangerous offensively. We now know that to be true.

Give and take

Colorado had 16 takeaways and just two giveaways. It took much more than it gave. Puck possession and clean movement is this team’s identity and they played that to near perfection on this night.

The Avs also had 10 blocked shots, three more than the Blues.

Colorado won every statistic in an 8-0 game — a complete win for a team that would still be in preseason form in a normal year.

MacKinnon and his wingers

Nathan MacKinnon and wingers Gabe Landeskog and Mikko Rantanen each scored a goal and combined for seven points. They didn’t play together in the opener but were reassembled to provide a spark. They did just that, accounting for four of the first five goals (two together on the power play).

The Avs don’t always want to stack that first line, but if the other forwards are making plays and creating chances, the MacKinnon line is a threat to score on every shift.

Milestones

Sometimes, reaching milestones becomes a problem. But Landeskog (200 goals) and Rantanen (100 goals) took care of significant ones Friday and they won’t be concerned about them moving forward.

MacKinnon’s team-high three points have him within two of 500 in his career, which would make him the fourth Avalanche player to reach that number. MacKinnon, however, is a scoring machine who is capable of producing two points on two shifts.

He will join Joe Sakic, Milan Hejduk and Peter Forsberg in the 500-plus Avalanche point club in no time.

 

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