That supper at Mr. Chow in Beverly Hills was five stars. On a day with a high of 98, that was a root beer float. Eddie Van Halen played a solo on his guitar. It wasn’t only that the Colorado Avalanche won their season-opening game against the Chicago Blackhawks today. The way they executed it was of the craftsmanship variety.
No minor thing was out of bounds for Avalanche players. This was a full-menu feast for those who enjoy good cuisine on the whole, from the appetizers to the main dishes to the desserts and aperitifs.
In spite of having won the Cup and occasionally partying more than the Jersey Shore cast throughout the summer, Avalanche players did not appear to be inebriated. With the exception of a slight slip-up on a penalty kill in the opening frame, they were outstanding.
The Avalanche’s power play was exceptional; at times, the passing motion resembled that of the hockey equivalent of the Harlem Globetrotters. As part of a dominant first two periods in which Colorado had a 22-10 shot advantage, Artturi Lehkonen scored twice while on the power play in the second period, and Valeri Nichushkin added another.
Alexandar Georgiev, the new goalie, didn’t have to exert much effort to earn the victory. That will probably continue to be the case during his Avalanche career on a few more occasions.
One of the things you constantly wonder about is how a reigning champion would start the season and whether complacency might be anything to be concerned about.
From up high in the press box tonight, I didn’t see any of that. With their systematic dominance in every area over the opening 40 minutes, the Avalanche gave the impression that they were playing Game 6 in Tampa once more. It felt like the defense always had the puck. Each of the four lines had an impact. They were the Washington Generals versus the Globetrotters for the ailing, scandal-plagued Blackhawks organization.
Mikko Rantanen contributed four assists overall, including a stunning pass to Lehkonen for a goal off a redirection at 3:49 in the second period to make it 4-1. This year, those two Finns are going to score a ton of points.
I believe the Colorado Avalanche will do the same.
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