Top player from Friday in the NHL
Cale Makar, Colorado Avalanche
No Nathan MacKinnon, no problem for the Colorado Avalanche. They are starting to get on a roll after a slow start and they were clicking on all cylinders on Friday night against the expansion Seattle Kraken. Leading the way was top defender Cale Makar as he logged 20 minutes of ice-time, scored two goals, added an assist, recorded six shots on goal and finished as a plus-three in the Avalanche’s 7-3 win. After a 1-3-0 start to the season the Avalanche are now 7-2-1 in their most recent 10 games. Makar is starting to get on a roll with Friday being his fifth multi-point game of the season. He is now averaging more than a point per game this season.
Highlights from Friday in the NHL
It came in a losing effort against the Vancouver Canucks, but Nikolaj Ehlers scored the goal of the night with this incredible individual effort for his sixth goal of the season.
Kyle Burroughs scored his first NHL goal for the Canucks on Friday night.
Makar scores on an odd-man rush for the Avalanche.
Three Takeaways from Friday in the NHL
Jared Bednar signs two-year contract extension with Colorado Avalanche
Before the Avalanche routed the Kraken, they announced a two-year contract extension for head coach Jared Bednar that runs through the end of the 2023-24 season.
Bednar is in his sixth season as the Avalanche head coach, leading the team to the playoffs in four of his first five seasons (each of the past four). The Avalanche have made it to the second round in each of the past three seasons. Expectations are increasing for this group every season and eventually there is going to be more pressure to take another big step and get closer to a Stanley Cup. We might already be at that point with this team. When that happens people start to get on the hot seat when the steps do not get taken. The Avalanche are obviously very confident that Bednar is the coach to get them to that next step.
Canucks get much needed win
The Vancouver Canucks needed a win, and they finally got one against the Winnipeg Jets on Friday. They entered the game on a five-game losing streak, had won just two of their previous 11 games with only one of those wins coming in regulation. The general manager and coach are on the hot seat (at least in the eyes of the public, even if the team may not agree) and nothing is going right. But thanks to goals from offseason acquisitions Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Conor Garland, as well as the first NHL goal from Kyle Burroughs, they were able to get two much needed points. They still have a long way to go to before they can play their way back into the Pacific Division playoff race (or the Western Conference Wild Card race) but they have to start somewhere.
Kraken are struggling and the schedule stays tough
With their 7-3 loss to Colorado on Friday night the Kraken have now lost six games in a row and seven of their past eight games. They have allowed at least four goals in seven of those eight losses, including two seven-goal games. Goaltending has been a huge problem this season, but on Friday night it was a complete and total no-show by everybody on the roster. They allowed multiple power play goals, a shorthanded goal, generated just 28 shots on goal (most of them being recorded late when the game was already out of reach), and were never competitive against an obviously superior Colorado team. Things are not going to get any easier over the next three games when they play Carolina, Tampa Bay, and Florida. That is three of the best teams in the league after playing another top team on Friday when the Avalanche were in town.
Saturday’s big story
After opening the season on a 13-game road trip the New York Islanders will finally get a chance to play in front of their home fans and open their brand new building when they host the Calgary Flames. They will be a little shorthanded, but being back home on Long Island in front of their fans will definitely be a big moment. They also need it, entering on a four-game losing streak and currently sitting behind every other team in the Metropolitan Division.
Friday’s NHL scores
Vancouver Canucks 3, Winnipeg Jets 2
Colorado Avalanche 7, Seattle Kraken 3
Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.