Cleat Geeks

Rough Homecoming for Avs

AvalancheAfter a seven game road trip that spanned two weeks, the Colorado Avalanche finally returned home sweet home on Thanksgiving Eve to face off against a strong Ottawa Senators team. The Avs went 4-3-0 on the road trip; winning in Philadelphia, Boston, and Montréal, losing in Toronto, Pittsburgh, and Washington, and winning in Winnipeg. Colorado has had problems winning at home lately, but could the team snag one on home ice against a red hot Senators team?

Semyon Varlamov was in net for the first time in what seemed like ages, and this season, he has not looked like the same goalie who led the NHL in wins in 2013-14 and was a Vezina finalist. His woes continued Wednesday against Ottawa, as he gave up a pair of goals in the first period, and was taken out of the game when he gave up a third goal in the second period. At that moment, Varlamov was pulled and replaced by Reto Berra, who has been starting most of the Avs’ games and has two shutouts this season. The first period did have a spark, as Christopher Wagner scored his first goal of the season to cut it to 2-1, but after 40 minutes of play, the Avalanche were trailing 4-1.

Gabriel+Landeskog+Minnesota+Wild+v+Colorado+7cO2gjIL1xqlThe third period saw a spark from the Avs, as coach Patrick Roy’s tactic of pulling Berra for an extra attacker with 10 minutes left paid off. The move was made with a 4-on-4 situation, which became 5-on-4 and later 6-on-4 when the Avs were on the power play. Avs captain Gabriel Landeskog scored on the power play to cut the deficit to two goals, and Nathan MacKinnon scored minutes later to make it 4-3. A golden opportunity to tie the game late was shattered during the Avs’ power play chance with 10 seconds left, as the Sens won the face-off and shot it into the empty net, sealing their road victory. Avalanche lost, 5-3, to drop to 8-13-1.

It is still early for the Avalanche, but the team is in the bottom of a Central Division that has proven to be loaded since the divisions were realigned beginning in the 2013-14 season. Avs have the Winnipeg Jets next on Saturday, which will come just five days after defeating the Jets, 4-1, on the road on Monday.



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