AVALANCHE

After choking with the Avalanche, Philipp Grubauer robs them in Game 7

Apr 30, 2023, 10:14 PM

Philipp Grubauer got his revenge.

The Seattle Kraken goalie, who used to play for the Colorado Avalanche, was absolutely awesome in the team’s Game 7 contest on Sunday night.

Grubauer stopped 33 shots and the Kraken beat the Avs 2-1 to move on to Round 2. Colorado’s defense of its Stanley Cup is over, as the Avalanche await a long offseason full of questions.

Mikko Rantanen made things interesting as the Avalanche rallied to make it a one-goal game late in the second period, but unfortunately that didn’t matter.

Nathan MacKinnon scored early in the third period, but it was ruled offsides after a challenge from Seattle.

Colorado’s season ends in disappointing fashion, as the Cup won’t be staying home thanks to a stunning Round 1 loss. The situation with forward Valeri Nichushkin will dominate the headlines, as he missed the team’s last five games of the postseason.

First and foremost, what happened? Why did a police report in Seattle necessitate his absence from the group for five games? Will his contract be looked at? The Avs game him a long-term deal last offseason, worth almost $50 million dollars.

And how does a team that won the Cup in 2022 get back to that level? Rantanen, MacKinnon and Cale Makar are obviously great, but there are loads of questions around the rest of the bunch. Will captain Gabriel Landeskog ever play again is chief among them.

No one will forget the parade in June of last year, but no one is naive enough to forget what this year could have been. The Avs lost a chance at a repeat thanks to horrible injury luck and a title-failure we haven’t seen in this town since the Broncos after Super Bowl 50.

It happens, but the core is still here. Losing three playoff home games was absolutely unpredictable, but that’s what they managed to do in Round 1. We wanted a dynasty, but the Avs may have only gotten one title.

Goodnight, Avalanche. Last season was special — this one was a dud.

***

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After choking with the Avalanche, Philipp Grubauer robs them in Game 7