The Avalanche have tied the series 1-1 on a great (mostly) comeback game, highlighted by some amazing play by Alexandar Georgiev (mostly), and Devon Toews.
The Avalanche Coach Jared Bednar stated to the media that he felt good. He felt like the team would come to play tonight. For all the Avs fans watching last nights contest, it certainly didn't feel that way after the first period.
The Kraken came out firing, and scored two quick goals to bring last years champs to their knees early in game 2. The wind was out of the building, and the championship swagger was gone from this once confident team. Nobody wanted to touch the puck, the forecheck wasn't clicking, and a few softies in on Georgiev left the fans wondering what the heck was going on. Where did their team go?
We know the team isn't the same as last years 16-4 championship team. So many times during last years run the Av's seemed almost invincible. It seemed like they were never really in true danger aside from a few hiccups. This year, different story. No Kadri, No Burakovsky, no Nicholas Aube-Kubel, no swagger.
With the first two goals of the game, Georgiev could have made better reads. One play was a 2-on-1, but with Cale Makar pressuring the puck carrier Tolvanen, it was pretty clear what the play was going to be. He got beat 5 hole. The next goal was one that Georgie should have had. He just missed it. Back breaking goals like that can deflate a team, and it seemed to for the Avs.
Enter: Gabriel Landeskog.
During the first intermission, Landeskog, donning a suit, stepped into the locker room and spoke. Nobody has reported on what was said, but "he reminded us who we are." The Avs came out in the 2nd period a completely different looking team; it was wild! Confidence with the puck, forechecking like dogs, and making shots to score. Makar blasted a puck from up high, and it was going well wide... Until playoff hero Arturri Lehkonen tipped it by. 38 seconds later, a beautiful play. Toews in his own zone with the bank pass up to Evan Rodrigues, who slipped it through to Val Nichushkin on a partial break. A quick 2 goals had the momentum swinging to Avalanche ice. The Kraken didn't give up, and Alexandar Georgiev had to come up with some ridiculous saves (most notably on a 3-on-1 with Mikko Rantanen defending) to lock this one up for the Avalanche.
Toews would bring this one home, scoring the game winner on a memorable Grubauer rebound (We Avs fans know this well), locking the game up to tie the series 1-1.
This wasn't a dominant win. This wasn't a pretty analytical win. It wasn't a team that was carried by a goaltender. But the Avalanche banded together, and made it work. They were resiliant. Lets see more of this in game 3 and onwards.