The Colorado Avalanche don’t have a ton of reasons to smile, but many of their beacons of hope shined brightly on Friday.
Most obviously, Nathan MacKinnon is still just 21, and his under-the-radar greatness sometimes proves brilliant enough to reach the greater hockey consciousness. Take tonight, when he assisted on the Colorado Avalanche’s first goal and generated the overtime-clincher in a 2-1 OT win against the New York Islanders.
Of course, Calvin Pickard also played splendidly, stopping 35 out of 36 shots. This season seems like it will be a slog the rest of the way for the Avalanche (they ended a five-game losing streak and got just their fourth win since Dec. 1) – and likely beyond – but nights like these lead you to believe that there are at least a few building blocks in place.