Like their NBA brothers, this team is a…….team.
It is lovely to see the Colorado Avalanche together at Nuggets games or crowded together, enjoying each other at public events. We’re told that NHL teams are brotherhoods, we’ve seen the playoff beards and the family atmosphere that is generated in NHL locker rooms.
The Avalanche have taken that brotherhood and built on it, learning to play together like a well choreographed riverdance troupe. I was thinking, while watching the artistry of the Avalanche on the power play that there is a very narrow gap between a good and a bad hockey team.
Some percentage of that gap has to be attributed to chemistry. Building the right roster has to be one of the most difficult GM jobs out there. Play style, size, position and now personality compatibility. I’m sure NHL heads long for the days of open checkbooks and unlimited contracts.
Avs GM Joe Sakic has pushed all the right buttons for coach Jared Bednar’s style. The Avalanche power play, producing at a 33% clip, looks like the team shares a hive mind. Passes to open space that seem to always find streaking players, the sixth sense everyone seems to have to find MacKinnon.
Rantanen is the leading scorer in the NHL but he’d defer to Landy or Mac before taking any credit or praise. That mentality reaches all the way down the roster and has sparked production from defenders and forwards beyond the top line that make the Avalanche a dangerous but far more steady team.
The emergence of support has been great but still, the top line is something to behold: