The Colorado Avalanche have been pouring on the goals lately, and Friday showed that the only person that’s getting tired is the guy manning the flashing red light behind the net at Ball Arena.
The Avalanche racked up three goals in each of the first and second periods en route to a 7-3 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Friday for their third straight win. The Avalanche have scored seven goals six times this season – all of them coming in the last 14 games. No other team has hit seven goals more than twice. The Avs have also hit that mark three games in a row. Six different players scored for Colorado in the victory – including Darren Helm, who is in his first season with the Avalanche after spending the first 14 years of his NHL career with Detroit.
Here are three takeaways from Friday’s win:
Burakovsky Breaks Through
One guy who needed a big offensive game for the Avalanche was Andre Burakovsky. He came through on Friday, scoring a pair of goals to give him his third multi-goal game of the season. Burakovsky had just one point – a goal on Dec. 2 against the Montreal Canadiens – in his last seven games.
Even though the Avalanche were in charge the entire game and the final score was lopsided, both of Burakovsky’s goals came at crucial times. His first goal was Colorado’s second of the game, coming in the middle of a three-goal burst over 5:48 for the Avalanche. It was big because it helped the Avs hold the lead when the Red Wings got one back late in the first from Vladislav Namestnikov and another early in the second from Joe Veleno.
After Veleno’s goal made it 3-2 early in the second, MacKinnon and Burakovsky scored a pair of goals just 23 seconds apart to balloon the lead back to three goals at 5-2. Burakovsky’s second goal was a beauty, coming right off the faceoff on a feed from Mikko Rantanen. Burakovsky now has nine goals on the season.
Goals Start Coming For MacKinnon
Colorado’s offense has been rocking at ridiculous levels over the last 14 games, but that hasn’t translated to many goals for superstar Nathan MacKinnon. That trend might be changing. MacKinnon scored a second-period goal to give him goals in back-to-back games for the first time this season. MacKinnon, a Hart Trophy finalist last season, has been solid offensively, as he’s failed to score a point in just one game this season. But the goals hadn’t been there. This might be the spark that ignites him.
After a sluggish start, the Avalanche cranked their offense up to mile-high levels over the last month. This high-scoring hot streak has been going on since Colorado torched the Vancouver Canucks 7-1 on Nov. 11 to start the stretch. That game launched the Avs to a 14-game stretch that has seen them score 76 goals while going 11-2-1 during the surge.
Related: Avalanche’s Quarter-Season Awards
With 106 goals, Colorado is the highest-scoring team in the NHL this season, despite playing fewer games than every team besides the Boston Bruins. The Avalanche have scored five goals or more 10 times during the last 14 games. To put that in perspective, the Minnesota Wild are the second-highest scoring team (101 goals) in the NHL, and they’ve hit five or more goals 10 times this whole season (26 games).
Toews Stays Red Hot
For all of the talk of Cale Makar’s incredible offensive start, Devon Toews has been on a tear, too. The defenseman continued his sizzling play on Friday, recording three assists to extend his point streak to five games. It was the third consecutive contest where he tallied at least two assists.
The trio of helpers gave Toews 16 on the season and 20 points through his 15 games. The first assist came on one of his patented rips from the point that was tipped into the net by J.T. Compher. It was Compher’s first game back after missing a month with an upper-body injury, and the goal started the scoring. The second assist came on MacKinnon’s tally, and the third assist capped the scoring on Makar’s empty-netter.
Despite missing nine games, Toews’ 16 assists are tied for third on the team with MacKinnon. His career-high for assists is 22, a mark he hit in both 2019-20 with the New York Islanders and 2020-21 in his first year in Colorado. He has recorded multiple points in seven of his 15 contests this season. The Avalanche will try and keep the hot streak going on Sunday when they host the Florida Panthers.
Lifelong storyteller and experienced hockey reporter that has covered everything from major juniors to the NHL. Worked for various newspapers across Minnesota and North Dakota, and now covering the Colorado Avalanche for THW.