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The Weekly 5-on-5: Vegas' wild week and what's next for Olausson

Jesse Montano Avatar
April 25, 2022

Less than a week to go in the NHL season, and that just means the storylines around the league are getting more and more interesting. A wild game on Sunday night, another great player calls it a career, and the Avs stumble down the stretch causing some to be concerned.

Ryan Getzlaf hangs ‘em up

Ryan Getzlaf officially called it a career this week, playing in his last game on Sunday evening as the Ducks hosted the Blues. While the Ducks got beaten up, Getzlaf had a beautiful assist on what ended up being the last goal of the game. Which was an awesome moment. 

Anaheim sent him off right, dedicating the last two-three weeks to his farewell tour, all leading up to a great night for him last night. When we look back on it what a career for Getzlaf. Stanley Cup Champion, a 2x Olympic Gold Medalist, and the Ducks captain for 12 years. 

Congratulations to Ryan Getzlaf on an amazing career.

Alex Ovechkin does it again

Another 50-goal season from Ovechkin? Are you kidding me?

Make it nine career 50-goal seasons for the Great Eight, tying him for the most all-time. It’s a great reminder of how lucky we are to be able to watch, what I truly believe is, the greatest goal-scorer in the history of the game.


Part of what sets this 50-goal season apart from the others we’ve seen do it in the NHL this year is the fact that Ovechkin’s first 50-goal season came during his rookie year in the 2005-2006 season. 16 years between his first, and his most recent. I don’t know if we’ll ever see someone this dominant of a shooter. There are some great goal-scorers in the league, and I’m sure there are more on the way, but Ovi’s ability to just purely over-power NHL goaltenders may never be eclipsed. 

You know it’s coming, and a lot of the time you know where it’s coming from, and you still can’t stop it. Hockey has never seen a player quite like Ovechkin. Here’s to his continued chase of Gretzky’s all-time goals record. 

Eastern Conference’s historic season

Speaking of the Washington Capitals, by collecting a point in their shootout loss to Toronto on Sunday the Capitals eclipsed the 100-point mark on the season, and still currently occupy the final Wild Card position in the Eastern Conference. 

This marks the first time in NHL history that all eight playoff teams from one conference will be north of 100 points. This is so fascinating for so many reasons. For me though, it’s the fact that we now have to ask the question of, is the top of the East that good? Or is the bottom of the East that bad?

Time will tell and be our answer on that, but either way, it’s been a blood bath of a season at the top of the East as those top-eight teams have been slugging it out for seeding since late November, and it should be an incredible playoff for that side of the bracket. 

San Jose and Vegas

What. A. Game. Well, actually… the game was pretty “meh”, but the final two minutes were absolutely bananas. 

Vegas HAD to have this one, they have to have all of their games really, but this was one against a non-playoff team, in their final home game of the season, and you just can’t lose that when you’re fighting for your life.

The entire hockey world was rooting for the Sharks last night, and everyone was delighted. 

Robin Lehner

If all of the on-ice drama surrounding the Vegas Golden Knights wasn’t enough, now there is yet another off-ice problem they are having to deal with.

It was reported last week that Robin Lehner would be undergoing season-ending knee surgery and was, obviously, done for the year. 

Then about an hour later VGK head coach Pete DeBoer took to the podium after practice and said that he was not aware of any surgery for Lehner, and that he expected him to be good to go for Vegas’ game against San Jose….. what?!

How does this happen? How is this team this much of a mess? First, it was trading Fleury for literally nothing (and having him find out on Twitter), then it was trading Evgenii Dadonov to a team that was on his no-trade only to have it reversed by the league, and now this. I stand firm that the culture has completely screwed up Vegas over the last two-plus seasons. 

Part of what made this team so special in the early years was the “Golden Misfits” mentality, everyone had something to prove. Now it’s just a team of mercenaries and management has made it clear that they will cut your throat if it means they can win a hockey game. 

I feel for Lehner. It sounds like this is a surgery that he needs to keep the injury from getting worse. Vegas has gone from being the hero to Jack Eichel and allowing him to get the surgery he needed, to being the villain in Robin Lehner’s story by keeping him from getting the help he needs. All while sitting him in favor of rookie netminder Logan Thompson.

Reports are that when DeBoer pulled Lehner after allowing just one goal in the first period last week against the Washington Capitals, it was the straw that broke the camel’s back for Lehner and he tried to opt for season-ending surgery. We’ll see what ends up happening. (Ed’s. note: It was announced again that Lehner is having surgery and shutting it down, but we’ve heard that before)

For all intents and purposes, it’s been a quiet week for the Avs. Yes, I know, they’ve struggled a bit on the ice and have lost four in a row, but we’ll get there. In terms of things that are truly noteworthy, there just hasn’t been a ton. Let’s get into it. 

Pavel Francouz with some bad luck

A scary, freak accident that could have been much worse than it was. Early in the game against Edmonton over the weekend, a puck was coming out of the Avs defensive zone and heading into the neutral zone, before being tipped and changing direction, heading into the Avalanche bench. 

This happens a lot and usually not much comes of it. This time, however, the puck came right at backup netminder Pavel Francouz and caught him right above the left eye at full speed. 

A scary moment. He didn’t return to the game but thankfully was back on the ice the next day at practice. It looks like he should be all good, with the exception of some soreness.

Mikko Rantanen

Super quick update here on The Moose. Mikko was a late scratch at the beginning of the road trip as he was sidelined with a non-COVID related illness. After missing the one game, he flew back to Denver and did not take part in the rest of the trip. 

While we haven’t gotten anything “official” from the Avs, it’s safe to assume that Mikko probably caught a flu bug or something similar, and instead of having him around the team and risk anyone else getting sick, the Avalanche decided to send him home to rest up and get back to 100% before re-joining the team. Monday was an off day for the Avalanche, so we should have some more clarity on Tuesday when the team takes on the St. Louis Blues. 

Concern or frustration?

Ok, not going to spend a ton of time here, just because I don’t think much time needs to be dedicated to this. 

The Avs have lost four games in a row, and it’s left some folks a little wary with the postseason fast approaching. While I understand the sentiment, I promise you, there’s no need to panic. Save that for the playoffs. 

This is a long season, you’re bound to have good and bad stretches. The Avs have been maybe the NHL’s most consistent team all year, and have shown repeatedly that they can take their level of play a notch when they need to. 

Losing sucks, and you never want to see your team play poorly, but you have to understand those thighs are just part of the game. You will never, ever play a perfect season. Not to mention, these four losses have all come when the Avs have been without Mikko Rantanen, Gabe Landeskog, and Devon Toews. I don’t know.. I think those guys are pretty important. 

All I’m saying is… be frustrated, be annoyed that the Avs are losing, losing is the absolute worst. But don’t let these four games skew your vision of who this Avalanche team is. The postseason has always been what will define this team, not winning 9+ in a row twice, not winning 19 straight home games, and definitely not losing four meaningless games to end the season. 

We have plenty of stress coming our way when the playoffs start, spare your heart a bit here, eh?

Potential line combos

As we approach the playoffs, and what should hopefully be a healthy lineup for the Avs in game one, I thought it would be fun to take a look at what I think is the ideal lineup that the team has waited all year to see put together. 

I’d have to go look to be 100% positive, but I am pretty darn sure that we haven’t seen this version of the Avs fully healthy once this year. We’ve seen the defense fully healthy, and we’ve seen the forwards fully healthy, but we haven’t seen them put it all together once yet. 

This team has so many combinations, and so many different looks, they should be a nightmare to match up against, at home or on the road.  

My projected lineup:

Burakovsky – MacKinnon – Rantanen

Landeskog – Kadri – Nichushkin

Lehkonen – Newhook – Compher

O’Connor – Sturm – Cogliano

Aubé-Kubel – Helm

Toews – Makar

Girard – Manson

Byram – Murray

E. Johnson – J. Johnson – MacDermid



For the guys who I have as scratches, I think they’re all pretty interchangeable with guys on the 4th line or bottom pairing, and as Jared Bednar has said multiple times lately, if the Avs are going to go four-rounds deep, they’ll need every last guy to contribute. 

Oskar Olausson

Finishing up with a look to the future. I’m not going to get super deep into what Olausson has been up to this season, as we have some really great stuff coming on the Avs top prospect here in the next few days, but I did want to pass along the update DNVR’s Meghan Angley gave us this past week. 

All signs point toward Olausson joining the Colorado Eagles for their playoff run once his season with the Oshawa Generals wraps up. The season hasn’t gone the way many thought it would for Oshawa, and the Avs organization is anxious to get their hands on Oskar to start taking over his development. 

After emptying a lot of the cupboards recently, Olausson is definitely a guy that has the tools to be a legit NHLer, now we’ve just gotta see if he can put it all together. 


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