The Avs are Stanley Cup material | AspenTimes.com

The Avs are Stanley Cup material

The first month of this 2018-2019 NHL hockey season found the Colorado Avalanche team the best in the league. Then for some reason, the Avalanche fell off a cliff and they started losing. Come March, the team was down six points from qualifying for postseason play. Somehow they barely climbed back up to make the Stanley Cup championship playoffs through great play by their back up goalie (who won eight of the last 11 games of the regular season) and star player Nathan MacKinnon.

In first-round play, the eighth-seeded Avs traveled to Calgary, which had home-ice advantage, to get defeated on the scoreboard — although their game play obviously won the game save for the remarkable saves of Cagary’s goaltender’s “game of the year” that Colorado happened to fall victim to.

Game 2 found the Avalanche continuing to play their same style (without the lucky play of the Calgary net-minder) and winning the game — stealing the away game and heading back to home-ice advantage for games 3 and 4.

This gave the team confidence that they should be in the playoffs. Defeating the so-called best team in the West showed them that they could hoist the famed Stanley Cup trophy.

Coming home with momentum, the team acquired their 2017 first-round draft pick and the current best Division 1 college hockey player from the University of Massachusetts, 22-year-old defense man Cale Makar.

Makar is from Calgary. During the NCAA Frozen Four college hockey championships, his team defeated Denver University to make it to the finals. Makar was awarded the Hobey Baker Award, given to the best hockey player in the NCAA.

In the Avs’ first game at home — in Cale Makar’s first NHL game — in the first period, on his first shot, Makar scored what ended up being the game winning goal for his new team. Colorado went on to win 6-2 with the first two goals coming from Nathan MacKinnon.

Cale’s $925,000 a year salary seems like a great investment for Joe Sakic’s Avalanche.

Scott Barta

Carbondale


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