The Colorado Avalanche lost their first game of the young season on Tuesday night, 5-2 to the Blue Jackets before rebounding Thursday at Buffalo.
What a difference two nights can make. After a crazy performance that saw the Colorado Avalanche, in front of Philipp Grubauer go down two in the first, tie it up in the second and then go down two more in the third before giving up an empty net goal for the 5-2 final Columbus win.
The game outraged the even-keeled Avalanche coach Jared Bednar. Bednar in particular pointed out that the Avalanche seemed to be “standing around” and that their lackluster play led to a trio of early penalties that had the Avs behind from jump. The second period revival, with goals from Nathan MacKinnon and Carl Soderberg was just as unlikely as the third period collapse.
In all, Grubauer faced 34 shots, giving up the four goals but he kept the Blue Jackets off the board on seven of the Avs eight penalties.
Facing the ire of their coach and in a position to reinforce their reputation as a great bounce-back team, Colorado got on the board early Thursday with Tyson Jost opening the scoring just before the midway point of the first. Colin Wilson and Carl Soderberg would push the Avs lead to 3-0 and they would coast to a 6-1 victory. It was a spectacular rebound game against a Buffalo Sabres team that came in with an identical 2-1 record.
The defense was outstanding in front of Varly, a healthy Erik Johnson looks like a modern-day Rob Blake, Samuel Girard continues to impress as the blueliners played inspired hockey. All four forward lines contributed for Colorado, Jost and Alexander Kerfoot netted their first goals of the season. The star of this one and of the early season has without a doubt been: