The Colorado Avalanche are heading back to Denver to keep playing hockey! They forced a game 6 at home after Friday night’s epic comeback win in Nashville. I’m not going to lie, I had my doubts that I would get to see another game at the Can (Pepsi Center) after the game 4 loss. It’s not that I didn’t think we could beat the Preds in Nashville, I just thought it would be a tough task given the current goaltending and injury situation the Avs are in, and I wasn’t sure the Avs could pull it off. Boy did they prove me wrong. It is clear they want to keep their hockey sticks and not golf clubs in their hand… at least for the time being.
Last night the Avs played some spirited hockey, but the most spirited was third string goalie Andrew Hammond aka The Hamburglar. Hammond indeed kept good to his nickname by stealing that game away from the Preds. He made 44 of 45 saves, many of them coming in the third period at point blank range. He must have had flashbacks from 2015 where he went on a run with Ottawa, posting a record of 20-1-2, which propelled them to the wildcard spot. Now we just need him to propel the Avs into a game 7 and hopefully into the second round of the playoffs!
While Hammond stood on his head the entire game, the Avs as a team stepped it up as well. I turned to my buddy and told him coming into the third that this game is “now an overtime game,” thinking that the next goal would win. My heart sank when the Preds took the lead. I thought the Avs were done. Again, the Avs proved me wrong. After the Preds scored, the Avs decided they weren’t going to go down without a fight. They started to bring it. Our top line was playing with an urgency and were on a mission. Landy’s goal proved that. The Avs had a tired Nashville team against the ropes and MacKinnon’s nasty set of hands and pass to Landy made PK Subban look more like a minor leaguer than a Norris Trophy candidate. I guess that’s why Mackinnon is up for the Hart and PK isn’t. Once we scored that goal I had a good feeling. The Avs fed off the momentum and kept the pressure coming. That pressure led to a 2 on 1 break, which led to the game winning goal on a rebound by Sven Andrighetto.
As Landeskog said, “I’ve said it all year long haven’t I? This is a special Group.” With the magic that has been happening, I don’t think there is anyone that can deny the fact that this is a special group. Through adversity they are coming together to make the unthinkable, thinkable. A bunch of youthful young adults are growing into full grown men in front of our eyes and boy is the ride exciting!