There was a brief ray of sunshine in an otherwise season to forget as the Avalanche snapped a nine game losing streak with an impressive 5-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday.
It marks the teams sixth win at Pepsi Center this year and just the fifth win overall since November 21st.
Here are my five things from the victory.
1. I have to start with Nikita Zadorov who played like an absolute monster against the normally physical Jets. He had three bone crushing hits against the top line for Winnipeg with the biggest one coming midway through the third period with a beau trail zone blow on Mark Scheifele. Jacob Trouba came directly after big Z and got thrown out of the game because of it. It’s great to see this kid take steps almost every single game and especially when he beats a team at their own style like he did vs Winnipeg.
2. Matt Nieto added two more goals on three shots in the game giving him four total in 11 games in an Avalanche sweater. To me, he was the best offensive player for Colorado with his constant drive to the net and overall heads up play. I’ve mentioned it before, but I love the way he has played here in his short time. He’s been the perfect compliment to guys in the top-six.
3. It was nice to see the Avalanche get some depth scoring for a change today with Jerome Iginla chipping in a power play goal in the first period then Carl Soderberg netting his first goal in 24 games with his third period tally. I can’t remember the last time this club got a goal from all four forward lines like they did today, but it would be nice to see them keep it up.
4. You have to have depth scoring, but it always helps when your stars step up and Colorado’s did just that. Nathan MacKinnon was dominant with five shot attempts and a goal in front early on and Matt Duchene contributed three assists along with eight shot attempts with five on goal. It definitely helps when they are playing with capable linemates like they did today.
5. There was some bad in the game as three of the defensemen continued to struggle. Francois Beauchemin, Cody Goloubef and Eric Gelinas were noticeably bad for most of the game as they have been most of the season. Beauchemin led the team in minutes with over 28 and that is going to continue with Erik Johnson and Tyson Barrie out and that will expose him in such a bad way. Gelinas only played 7:29 so fortunately Jared Bednar noticed how bad he was especially in the third period.