Can the Avalanche come all the way back in Game 7? | VailDaily.com
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Can the Avalanche come all the way back in Game 7?

And a Seaver salute

How good has Nathan MacKinnon (29) been during the playoffs? That's a rhetorical question, people.
Jason Franson | Associated Press

Before we dive into the Colorado Avalanche’s 4-1 win over the Dallas Stars and get ready for Game 7, a tip of the cap to Tom Seaver, who died earlier this week.

Seaver averaged — we repeat, averaged — 250 innings pitched per year during his career. He had 231 complete games and 61 shutouts during his career. They don’t make them like that anymore.

Tom Terrific, indeed.

•••

Can the Avs pull a Nuggets?

Denver’s cagers erased a 3-1 deficit to take down the Utah Jazz. The Avalanche was down 3-1 to Dallas and has forced Game 7.

Can the Avs make the Western Conference Final?

The first thing they have to do is improve the power play, which has been absolutely putrid against the Stars. Colorado was 0-for-5 in Game 6 on the advantage and 0-for-11 in the last two games; it’s amazing the team won both games with a stat like that.

What’s more, a lack of success on the power play just invites the opposing team to take a run at your players.

For the Stars right now, there’s no cost to a penalty, and that gives them extra license physically, an area in which they already have an advantage. Also in a Game 7, one has to take chainsaw onto the ice and slice someone in half to get a whistle. So jump on the power play if it arises.

Perhaps, what makes the Avalanche such a good team is giving them problems on the power play. Colorado moves the puck so well, and in open ice, that’s lights out for another team.

The Avs need a greasy, garbage goal, one that’s not pretty. Along those lines, remember Nikita Zadorov’s goal at the end of the first period to tie the game at one? J.T. Compher got in front of the net enough to screen Stars goalie Anton Khudobin.

In truth, it wasn’t a true garbage goal, but the Avs need to get traffic in front of the net.

Speaking of goalies, the Avs are down to Michael Hutchinson, who was solid in Game 6. He did give up a soft goal in the first period, but came up big on a save in the third against Jamie Oleksiak.

In the meantime, Colorado continues to search for what constitutes healthy bodies. Defenseman Connor Timmons went down during Game 6 and did not return. Gabriel Landeskog took a skate to the leg and was limited in playing time during the final stanza. Who’s left?

Nathan MacKinnon is, and thank the stars. He fed Mikko Rantanen for Colorado’s third goal and feathered an empty-netter from his own zone to finish Game 6. Yes, it’s way too early for this talk, but MacKinnon has got be a Conn Smythe contender.

Enjoy Game 7.


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