The most terrifying quality of the hockey team in June is inevitability. This is difficult to create, since the waves come so tirelessly that they remove any doubt from the underlying dubious time on the calendar. So many things can go wrong in playoff hockey. A bouncing puck goes the wrong way here, or a goalkeeper loses his mojo there.
These things have happened at certain points in the Colorado avalanche in recent weeks, but they are still here: two sweeps in three playoff rounds and four wins from their first Stanley Cup in 2001 when General Manager Joe Sakik was captain. So far, there is no doubt about the superiority of the Avs, as there is more in the tank than everyone they have played, most recently the poor Edmonton Oilers. In summary, the style of play has never been better matched by a sports team than the 2022 avalanche.
Game 4 of Monday night’s Western Conference Final was a great case study in the inevitability of Avs. Eulers continued to lead the nose, making a 3-1 and 4-2 lead. In the third period, when the avalanche returned to the lead 5-4, the Eulers regained it with just three minutes left. Edmonton was resilient and had two future Hall of Fame forwards, Connor McDevid and Leon Dresitel, who were determined not to let their season die. (McDavid had 3 points, and Driesital had 4 points, but we could soon learn that there were 28 different broken body parts.) The net 79 seconds, formalized the location of the avalanche in the cup finals, which will begin sometime next week.
Clincher explained another feature of avalanches: they are pure fun. It’s a great pleasure to watch more than any team I remember that it wasn’t my own for both completeness and imperfection. They are a firewagon team that loves to throw snow and involve rescuers in their crime. He has one of the fastest skaters ever, Nathan McKinnon, a true blink-and-you will-miss-his genius, who has really lost a lot of defenders in this playoff. Defender Black Capricorn plays like a fourth forward but somehow does so without sacrificing much of his own edge of the ice. He scored 86 points this year and earned a ticket to the greatest career of all time. Avalanche also has sketchy goaltending, which opens up the possibility of confusion in any game they play. They may lose to the New York Rangers or the three-pitch Tampa Bay Lightning, but they will definitely witness the final series of the season.
Avalanche Engine is an incredible scoring attack that, when it lasts, strikes anything the NHL has seen in decades. For the first 33 games of the season, FiveThirsty’s analysis showed that Colorado’s 4.33 goals per game were 1.29 higher than the league average आहे Wayne O’Leary has the largest scoring gap between a team and average since 1985-86. Gretzky, Paul Coffey, Jari Kurri, Glenn Anderson, and Mark Messier. (Everyone on that list except Messiar scored 100 points for the season.) Despite McKinnon playing just two games in November, the avalanche was running at that tremendous speed for almost half the season. Avs’ scoring slowed in the second half and they completed the regular season with an average of 3.76 goals. In the modern NHL, they could not score 4.33 goals per game during the year. (The Florida Panthers’ 4.14 was the most comfortable century of the 82-game season this year.) But maybe the team has tightened its mechanics a bit to prepare for the playoffs.
That level of eruption is always there, waiting for a fully functioning avalanche to tap into it when they need to. The misfortune of playing Avs at the wrong time and the wrong goaltender (over-matched veteran Mike Smith) could have seldom done much damage to each other and to the wrecked Oilers. Edmonton scored a respectable 13 goals in four games, including a total of 11 goals in just 1 and 4 games. It made no difference, as the avalanche decided to increase their scoring production to peak capacity. He scored eight goals in the Game 1 shootout, noting that he dropped six. They were 4-0 shutout in Game 2. Qadri suffered an injury in Game 3, which turned out to be a real defensive struggle, but the Avs still pulled 3-2. Their room was finally revealed when J.T. Confer scored the winning goal from the penalty box: