When it comes to today’s NHL, it’s all about goals, goals, goals.
Goal scoring is way up in the league to start the season and there are many teams that are reaping the benefits because of it. It’s goals that lead to wins. Plus, goals are exciting, and come playoff time, they mean everything.
The Colorado Avalanche are the perfect example of this. They currently sit atop the league in goals scored with 65 goals in 18 games, which means they are averaging well over three goals per game.
The main reason this team is dominating offensively is because of the play of their top line. The team’s first line and main providers of the club’s offense consists of Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen, and Gabriel Landeskog.
As of this writing, Rantanen is leading the league in scoring with 29 points (seven goals and 22 assists) in 18 games. After the 22-year-old posted 84 points (29 goals and 55 assists) last season, he has been flying this season and doesn’t look like he can be stopped.
MacKinnon has picked up right where he left off last season, a season in which he was a Hart Trophy (league’s most valuable player) finalist and led his team with 97 points. In fact, he could end up being better than he was last season—if you can believe that.
MacKinnon, 23, currently has 26 points (12 goals and 14 assists). This guy has unbelievable vision, a wicked shot, and is someone that the puck seems to follow around the ice.
The other member of this line, Landeskog, has also been terrific this season. The team’s 25-year-old captain is third on the team in scoring with 20 points (12 goals and eight assists).
When Landeskog is on his game, he can be a dominating forward. He’s got size, strength, soft hands, and, when in the right position, he can bury his chances.
Together, this trio is unbelievably hard to stop. A great example of this was in their team’s 6-3 win over the Boston Bruins on November 14.
On that particular night, all three players scored goals. Not only that, but MacKinnon’s goal was the game-winner.
Talking to reporters after his team’s loss, Patrice Bergeron spoke glowingly of the Avs’ best line.
“All three of them are great players, no question about it. They see each other well and are tough to defend. It was a great challenge, a good matchup and it was a fun game,” said Bergeron, who had a power play assist.
To make matters worst for their opponents, the Avalanche’s top line is not the only place the team is getting offense from. Players like Tyson Barrie (15 points), Alexander Kerfoot (14 points), and Carl Soderberg (12 points) have also chipped him solid offensive numbers.
The Avalanche have 11 players with at least five points. While having five points may not see like a big deal, the fact that this team has 11 players who have at least five or more points is impressive and something that will only help the club moving forward.
This Avalanche team is fun, explosive, and absolutely dynamite to watch. If they can keep putting the puck in the net with regularity, this team could end up being very dangerous come April.
*Photo: The Denver Post