Game 1. Avs-Ducks. Avalanche Blow Ducks Out of the Water

Posted: October 3, 2013 in Avs vs. Anaheim Ducks

Colorado won their season opener in impressive fashion Tuesday night, blowing out the Ducks by a final of 6-1.
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Avs fans could not have asked for a better start to the season. A team that typically gives them trouble, comes to the Pepsi Center, and absolutely gets hammered. The Avs came out and looked sloppy early. Passes were not crisp, they didn’t seem to be on the same page, but all that started to turn when Ryan O’Character intercepted a Francois Beauchemin pass, and wristed one past Ducks goalie Viktor Fasth.

However, being overshadowed by the offensive explosion, was goalie Semyon Varlamov, who absolutely stole the show. The only reason people are praising the Avs today, is because Varlamov made it look like it wasn’t even close. He stopped seven or eight point blank chances in the game, that kept the Avs alive. Colorado easily would have been down by a goal or two when O’Reilly scored the first of the game, if not for Varlamov. Bottom line, Colorado still has a lot of work to be done on defense.

Individually for Colorado’s blue liners, I didn’t think Tyson Barrie had a very good game, despite his nice play leading to Colorado’s third goal of the game. Erik Johnson was solid, but nothing amazing, but rather it was Andre Benoit who stood out. He was the best Avalanche defenseman, making smart plays defensively, and providing some offensive spark. Think Matt Hunwick, but if Matt Hunwick was a lot better.

Offensively, the Avs were great. Everyone that was supposed to contribute did, and in big ways. First up is Nathan MacKinnon, how about the rookie putting up two points in his first game? He’s the youngest player to do that since 1944. He had great vision out there, and his hockey IQ appears to be high.

Jamie McGinn stepped up, notching both goals from MacKinnon. If Colorado can continue to get that kind of third line scoring, big things could happen. New/old guy Alex Tanguay chipped in 3 assists. There were a couple of times out there where he passed on an opportunity to take a shot, to try an make an unlikely pass, but that’s Alex Tanguay for you.

And of course you have the first line. All three skaters notched a goal, and dominated the game offensively. The three best offensive players on the ice were Duchene, O’Reilly, and Downie. That’s six players I have named that had good offensive games, without including Gabe Landeskog, Paul Stastny, PA Parenteau, Tyson Barrie, Erik Johnson, or Andre Benoit. That’s offensive depth.

The Avs need to repair some of the defensive holes from the first game, but after game one, optimism is high in Colorado.

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