Contrary to popular belief, a hockey game takes a little more than just three goals for a person to be part of their hat. Matthew Takachuk’s father reminded us in Calgary last week that celebrating a player’s hat-trick is a foolish way to intentionally trouble himself. It is a conscious decision that must be taken, much more intentionally than a general euphoria, to surrender a garment that is not usually cheap for a brief compliment with other fans, which cannot be noticed individually in a hatshower. . The number of people who make that choice after the third goal is a direct reflection of the intensity of the stimulated emotion, the initial urge to celebrate, and the mind-blowing delirium.
That’s why waves and ripples hit the ice in Denver with 2:46 left in the third period during the Avalanches game 5 against the Blues. Not just because Colorado superstar Nathan McKinnon scored his third goal of the night, but because he did it in a way and at a time that makes you want to jump out of your seat and do something ridiculous. And because it seemed like it would send Avs to the conference finals. Yeah Al that sounds pretty crap to me, Looks like BT aint for me either.
The Avs officially entered the game to knock out their underdog opponent and the first half hour went exactly as planned. McKinnon scored the first goal in just four minutes on a quick counter attack. His second was a beautiful dance with Miko Rantanen that brought him to the crease from the opposite blue line in about six seconds, further highlighting the superiority of this snowballing crime. In the second period a long Landscog deviation from a gabion in the effort of the long Devon Toys made it 3-0 and closed the book of the series, but the Blues continued to write. A great shot from Vladimir Tarasenko made their work a bit more manageable to go to third. Robert Thomas got another basically from the thin air with 10 minutes left. And Jordan Kirou also scored five goals with the opportunity of chaos around the net.
The crowd froze until McKinnon’s energy returned to their ecstasy. Taking literally as far away from the Blues goal as possible, nine years ago the first overall pick assigned to redeem this franchise created a single attack that gained momentum with every twitch in his skate. Looking back at it, he begins to look truly invincible just as he crosses the ice in the center, overtaking one defender and avoiding another’s useless poke check. And before you could even process at normal speeds to get the twist in the offensive zone, McKinnon created a thunderbolt on a deck on a third champ. The move gave him all the space he needed to quietly flip Villa Huso’s puck and the series-clinching goal seemed to be the all-time classic.
It’s a goal that makes you look surprised, shake, shake your head. And if you’re in the building, thank you for being able to see it. You can get season tickets for 30 years and never see a better goal like this. And get it in a way that sends your cup-favorite team to the WCF? I’m sure many Colorado fans were already imagining telling the story 50 years later when they dedicated their hats to McKinnon’s legendary game winner in the Avalanche championship season. Headwear is a happily paid admission fee for some small part of history.
And then Thomas and Tyler Bozak scored and the Blues won 5-4 in overtime. So this series is going on.
From a Colorado point of view it can certainly be a lot worse. They still have two shots to win a match against a less talented team. I’m guessing they’re going to manage, although I can’t help but mourn the hats a little. The McKinnon goal remains great, but its larger impact has been completely denied. Avalanche would be in the same situation if he never scored a goal. All the energy, all the joy, all the adrenaline that so many people paid for their hats now seems to be haunting this squad, trapped and waiting for its true release. The mere bliss of that moment means that it will still, in the end, be a good memory for everyone who pays homage. Until Avs stops breathing.