By: Scott A. Strande

It’s taken more than a full year, but I am finally back in a National Hockey League Arena! With
the COVID-19 restrictions and craziness of the past 365 plus days, indeed I feel lucky and
privileged and most of all thankful to the Colorado Avalanche organization for granting my
credential request.

Ok let’s talk hockey… or at least I will write and hopefully you will find it entertaining enough to
read and tell your friends. In July, Ice Time Hockey SW made the decision to add Colorado to
our coverage area and despite the pandemic, we have been welcomed with open arms, thank
you all.

Today, the start of our Colorado Avalanche coverage begins in earnest and we couldn’t be
more thrilled. To be able to see their battle with the Arizona Coyotes whom they lost to
Monday night in this very building, in person is simply a long time in the works.

Colorado Avalanche

There are so, many topics to talk about, however none bigger than the return of Nathan
MacKinnon. The leader and offensive sniper is exactly what the Avalanche need right now as
the look to start a push to the top of the Honda West Division.

With a 13-8-2 mark coming into game number 24 and five points out of first place the
Avalanche are need of that push. Tonight’s game is the fourth of nine straight at home and no
better time to start the winning streak.

It turns out the Avalanche used the return of Mac to secure a hard fought victory over Arizona
in overtime, but will it, can it propel them to the top of the Honda West. Albeit the game winner
came from captain Gabriel Landeskog with just 38 seconds remaining in the extra period, it
was clear Mac was a driving force.

Colorado put up a staggering 46 shots in the 2-1 victory, while holding Arizona to just 14. The
question now remains will the Wednesday night win be the catalyst to a lengthy winning streak
that lands the preseason Stanley Cup contenders back on top of the division.

While the COVID protocols continue to take their toll on the National Hockey League, injuries
are beginning to mount around the league as well. In Colorado losing two young defensemen in
Cale Makar and Bowen Byram has not been easy, but the rest of the defense has stepped up
and continued the dominance.

Offensively the Avalanche continue to over power teams with their speed and finesse, but as of
late have struggled to finish. Amassing lots of shots, but the ones that find the back of the net
are really the only shots that matter. A wise man once told me “you still have to beat the

In goal, Philipp Grubauer continues to play well, but even with a 13-7-0 record, 2.05 goals
against average and .917 save percentage, many including his head coach believe he will get
better as the season moves on.

With game number 24 officially in the record books, the Avalanche have 32 remaining to find
their way back to the top, a spot their talent says they belong. Our eyes will be focused on the
final 32 as we add the Avalanche to our “home teams!

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