Monday was an example of two NHL powerhouses at limited capacity. Several key weapons were missing in the Western conference battle, including the Golden Knights highly-skilled center and the Avalanche’s heart and soul. Nevertheless, one injured collection defeated another in an entertaining one-goal affair.
It’s a good hockey team we played. Effort was there. We had a lot of good looks in the third, really buzzing, which is a good sign. There’s no quit in our room, which is a good thing. Moving forward, we just need to get healthy, we just need to get healthy. Guys are battling but it’s tough. – Nathan MacKinnon, COL center
This season, both contenders have had players in and out of their lineups due to injury. At this point, the Golden Knights have adjusted quicker than their counterpart. Certainly, it’s worth noting there are various reasons for the Avalanche’s slow starts including injuries, chemistry, and possibly a championship hangover to boot.
Without impact players Jack Eichel, Jonathan Marchessault, and Shea Theodore the Golden Knights beat the reigning NHL champs with role players stepping up. Vegas received all three goals from depth players rising to the occasion. Elevated forward Michael Amadio evened the score in the 1st period continuing his current pace for the best offensive season in his NHL career. Versatile center Nic Roy added the game-tying and game-winning goals in the middle period, proving again the Golden Knights can win without their stars.