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Avs-Red Wings Game 64 Studs & Duds

AJ Haefele Avatar
March 7, 2024


Colorado’s stars

Is it unfair to lump all of them in here together? Sure, you could argue that. The big three for the Avs combined for 12 points, including Cale Makar’s first hat trick and the first hat trick by a Colorado Avalanche defenseman since Sandis Ozolinsh back in 1999. Rantanen had nine shots on goal and MacKinnon had eight. Even Makar added five, too.

The distribution among them was even as each had four points, with only Mikko Rantanen failing to score and instead racking up four assists as he moved into 8th place in the league in scoring.

Nathan MacKinnon scored a goal and had three assists, moving to 109 points on the season and breaking a tie with Nikita Kucherov at 105 as he retook the league lead. Speaking of league leads, Makar’s hat trick pushed him to the leading goal scorer among defensemen and just three points behind Quinn Hughes for the points leader among D.

MacKinnon has 18 games and needs just 11 points to tie Joe Sakic’s Avalanche record 120-point season back in 1995-96 and is vying to be the third Avs skater to win the Hart Trophy along with Sakic and Peter Forsberg. Makar’s recent surge will increase the pressure on Hughes to keep doing his thing as Makar lurks as a player who excels in all situations (unlike Hughes) and is vying for his second Norris Trophy.

It’s an embarrassment of riches at the top of Colorado’s lineup and nights like this are a good reminder that while finding cost-efficient players beyond the top line and top defensive pairing will forever be the challenge for the Avs, their star power can simply dominate a game all on their own and not need a ton of help.

Simply, Colorado’s best is better than anyone else’s best. When they are on their A-game, they win. See tonight’s demolition of the Red Wings.

Jean-Luc Foudy

I’ve long said that if you get your first career NHL goal, you’re automatically a Stud. Foudy fought for his goal tonight and was rewarded as he fell to the ice. He finished with 10:54 of ice time and had two shots on goal (both came in that same sequence). He’s had a tough year with bad injury problems, but this was a great thing for Foudy.

He was only called up as the Avs were shorthanded with Ryan Johansen off to Philadelphia and Casey Mittelstadt not in Denver yet, but Foudy made the most of it and that’s always a great sign for a kid trying to make an impression.

Alexandar Georgiev

The Avs didn’t need him to do very much as they destroyed Detroit throughout this game but his save late in the first period to keep the game tied 2-2 was a key factor in the Avs being able to separate and pull away throughout.

That’s it. That’s what the Avs needed. That one big save. The skaters took it from there.


The penalty kill

The Avs provided very little resistance and should have given up multiple goals against Detroit’s good power play but the Georgiev save kept it at just one. I’m confused as to why the Avs continue using this PK system that is not producing quality results. Since December 1, Colorado’s PK is 25th in the league. Why keep going like this?

Sean Walker and Valeri Nichushkin could help things, but to me this is way more of a systemic problem than a personnel issue.

This is one of the bigger areas of concern that I will be keeping an eye on moving forward. It was way too easy for Detroit tonight.

Unsung Hero

Chris MacFarland

He made big, bold moves earlier in the day and sent the message to the players in the locker room that they see opportunities to help them and got help. This is what being a general manager at the highest level of the sport is all about.

There was no operating from a position of fear and instead attacked the weaknesses with aggression. MacFarland’s work today left the door open for more moves to come before Friday’s deadline. If he isn’t done, hoo boy.

At the end of the day, this is one to remember from beginning to end. This was a fun one.


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