Karma-riding Avalanche extend streak to six, crush Chicago 5-0

Mar 21, 2023, 12:05 AM | Updated: 12:30 am

Denis Malgin...

Photo by Ashley Potts/NHLI via Getty Images

It seems like a million years ago when the Colorado Avalanche went on the road and lost to the Chicago Blackhawks.

The 3-2 catastrophic loss on Jan. 12 was a dynamic turning point in the Avs season. Since that embarrassment, Colorad has gone an impressive NHL-best 21-5-3 in their last 29 games, including a 5-0 shellacking of the Hawks on Monday night at Ball Arena.

“I do remember we killed off a lot of penalties,” recently reminisced Avs defenseman Jack Johnson about that night. We happened to be the Blackhawks, as he wore warhead during the shocking upset in Chicago. “It was a one-goal game, and we (Chicago) were giving a lot of looks on the power play. We (Chicago) dodged a bullet then.”

“Hopefully, I’m good karma,” laughed Johnson when reminded that he has basically only been around for the good stuff this year.

Johnson was with the Hawks when they played in the Avs season opener as the Stanley Cup banner was raised. He was with Chicago when they upset the Avs. Now, he skated for the Avs as they wiped his old team. Good karma indeed needs a great performance from Johnson.

There was so much good fortunate that Avs grinder Kurtis MacDermid scored a goal.

It was his one and only of the season, which ended up being the game-winner. Ok, sure—it happened to bounce off the shin guard of the opponent, but beggars can’t be choosers or Dermie will smash them in the face with his fist.

It was a day that saw Erik Johnson and Gabriel Landeskog back on the ice with the boys during the morning skate. Neither played in the game, but their mere appearance suggests that a return is somewhat imminent. Meanwhile, Denis Malgin has been more than enough in lieu of the absence of Artturi Lehkonen. Malgin’s two goals and an assist gave the Mighty Mite his first three-point one game total in his NHL career.

“I think that’s really important,” Malgin said on the broadcast. “Guys can step up. Every single night it’s another guy, and it’s important for the team.”

Avs goalie Alexander Georgiev recorded his league-high-tying fifth shutout of the year, turning away 27 shots. He is now second in the NHL with 32 wins.

“The team is playing great right now,” said Georgiev. “You try to appreciate it when things are working out for you. If it’s (only) 20 shots per game lately, I will take it.”

This is the third time this year the Avs have skated to a six-game win streak. They will look to set a season record seven on national TV Wednesday night against the Penguins. What matters most is how they have sucked the leaders in their division back to within a whisper. The Avs are now second in the Central but first in point percentage.

As Nathan MacKinnon sublimely pointed out, nobody wants to play this team in the playoffs. Heck MacK, nobody may want to run into the Avs over the final 13 regular season games.



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