Avalanche roll past Calgary; Colorado wins first playoff series in 11 years
Miracle on ice, it was not. But the Avs cut themselves a delicious slice of hockey heaven by eliminating the Western Conference No. 1-seeded Calgary Flames in five games.
Colorado on Friday night won its first playoff series since 2008 — when Joel Quenneville was coach and Paul Stastny played with Joe Sakic and Milan Hejduk — by defeating the Flames 5-1 in Game 5 at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
“It feels good. It feels real good,” said Avs coach Jared Bednar, who won his first career playoff series as an NHL bench boss. “I love seeing our guys getting rewarded for all their hard work.”
The Avs made the playoffs three times in the previous 10 years but lost in the first round on each occasion, including a year ago against No. 1-seed Nashville.
Mikko Rantanen and Colin Wilson scored twice apiece and had three points along with Nathan MacKinnon and Tyson Barrie, who each had three assists. Gabe Landeskog had the game-opening goal and Philipp Grubauer was again excellent in net.
When Flacco drops back to pass, he earns respect without uttering a word, by displaying a gift that’s rare, even at the NFL level.