November 17, 2015 — Game 18
Air Canada Centre / Toronto, ON
Tonight was a game of special teams or, more accurately, a game of the Toronto Maple Leafs’s special teams. While the Avalanche went on the man advantage early in the first period, it was Toronto that would capitalize on the situation with Leo Komarov netting a short-handed goal after a neutral zone turnover. The Maple Leafs extended the lead to 2-0 with a power play goal by former Avalanche P.A. Parenteau as Blake Comeau sat for high sticking. Tyler Bozak added to the Leafs’s lead in the second with another power play goal at 10:12 in the period.
Two minutes later, Erik Johnson would score Colorado’s lone goal with assists to Matt Duchene and Nathan MacKinnon. The third period saw two more power play goals for Toronto with Parenteau netting his second of the night and James van Riemsdyk getting his seventh goal of the season. Avalanche goaltender Reto Berra was pulled shortly before the final goal against, and it’s worth noting that Roy was aggressive with the extra attacker strategy, pulling back up Calvin Pickard with just over five minutes left in the period.
1. P.A. Parenteau (2 goals, 3 shots, 2 hits)
2. Tyler Bozak (1 goal, 2 assists, 2 shots)
3. James Reimer (35 shots against, 34 saves, .971 save percentage)
PLAY OF THE GAME
Sadly, the turning point came just three minutes into the first period when Komarov scored the first goal of the game (see Play of the Game). The short-handed tally put the Avalanche on its heels, and as much as they tried, the Avs could not force a change in momentum.
QUOTE OF THE GAME
“I never thought we could be . . . worse as we were in Florida when they scored three. I mean, tonight was one of our worst performances.” – Patrick Roy
The outlook for the playoffs continues to be dismal for the Avalanche. If the team is to climb back into relevancy in this punishingly tough Central Division, the win streaks will need to be long and occur often. This is just one game, but every game reflects the dire state the team created for itself. On its own, it’s one step further from the wild card conversation. In the bigger picture, however, Colorado still sits well outside of that coveted eighth playoff spot and dead last in the division.
Next up on the road trip is the Pittsburgh Penguins. The teams face off on Thursday, November 19, 2015, at 5:00 p.m. MT.