1. Rest, win, rust lose.
Avalanche benefited from sending St. Louis in four first-round games. Knight’s bill for a seven-game stretch by Minnesota came due Sunday night. This is an adult and a child. This is fresh and tired This is fast skating with cement skating. If there was any doubt that the Avs’ break (six-day break) would hurt, it was removed … time and again 2-0 less than 11 minutes into the game. It was 5-0 halfway at the halfway point. It was 6-1 after two. Moments Credit to Avs coach Jared Bednar, who leaned on Mikko Rantanen-Nathan MacKinnon-Gabe Landeskog’s top line for making the lead ̵1; each played at least 13 minutes and scored a total of eight points through two periods.
2. Makar magic
Avalanche defender Cale Makar described his first-round play as “average.” He would likely be unhappy with his -1-plus score against St. Louis. The high standard he set for himself was found in the first 21 minutes when he provided assists in Avalanche’s first three goals. Makar quit in Vegas in his county, leading to Rananten’s goal against him. Made an incredible cross-ice pass (tape-to-tape) on Landeskog’s first mark and he started playing with a brilliant pass for Valeri Nichushkin that led to Brandon Saad’s goal. The third period played well in his zone and saw the ice like it was just him and four other teammates in the attacking zone. Backups are difficult to keep.
3. Reverse the shame
Vegas fourth-row wing Ryan Reaves should not qualify for Game 1 after his cheap shot, Minnesota’s Ryan Suter, hit the goalpost on Friday. We shouldn’t have seen Reaves a few games after he was awarded a penalty/intentionally hurt Avalanche defender Ryan Graves (heavily reviewed Mattias Janmark in the second period) as well as Avalanche center Nazem Kadri. In the St. Louis series, a match sanction means an automatic suspension until the league’s player safety side decides to ban Knight might have been better off without Reeves because the puck accidentally found his staff.