Avalanche Praised for Explosive Offensive Outburst in Wild Game 1 Win vs. Oilers

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVJune 1, 2022

DENVER, COLORADO - MAY 31: Nathan MacKinnon #29 of the Colorado Avalanche celebrates with teammates Gabriel Landeskog #92 and Valeri Nichushkin #13 after scoring a goal against the Edmonton Oilers during the first period in Game One of the Western Conference Final of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Ball Arena on May 31, 2022 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

In the time it takes you to read this sentence, the Colorado Avalanche and Edmonton Oilers may have scored two more goals.

Tuesday's Game 1 of the Western Conference Final was a track meet on ice that Colorado won 8-6. The Avalanche's attack overwhelmed Edmonton's defense from the start, and they are now three wins away from their first Stanley Cup Final since 2001.

A high-scoring game wasn't exactly surprising with the star power in a series featuring Connor McDavid and Nathan MacKinnon, but few probably envisioned five combined goals in the first period and six combined goals in the second period.

Social media could barely keep up with the pace:

Bill Barnwell @billbarnwell

Oilers-Avalanche is just going to be two weeks of making goalies feel bad about themselves

Mark Lazerus @MarkLazerus

<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/obligatory?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#obligatory</a> <a href="https://t.co/9HXqp3VTdX">pic.twitter.com/9HXqp3VTdX</a>

Field Yates @FieldYates

We need seven games of Oilers vs. Avalanche. This game is ELECTRIC.

Jim Matheson @jimmathesonnhl

Oilers are fast but Avs look like team of Usain Bolts in first 15 mins. There is no snow in Avs' net as cleaning crew comes out at stoppage

Cousin Sal @TheCousinSal

Wow. Did you guys see that goal in the Avs/Oilers game? Don’t worry. If you missed it there’ll be another in about 11 seconds.

Mark Lazerus @MarkLazerus

What the hell are you supposed to do when it's Makar to Toews to MacKinnon, end to end, like that? Christ.

Chris Fowler @cbfowler

My God, Nathan MacKinnon. Freaky, filthy display of speed and hands!! How many on the planet can make that play?!! <a href="https://twitter.com/Avalanche?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Avalanche</a> up early. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/EDMvsCOL?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#EDMvsCOL</a>

Bruce Arthur @bruce_arthur

The Colorado Avalanche are playing downhill, I am the first person to ever tweet this

Timothy Burke @bubbaprog

show this hockey game to anybody who is not a hockey fan and tell them they're all like this

H. Wade Minter @minter

We may have a football score by the end of this Oilers-Avalanche game

Buzzer @buzzer

Avalanche-Oilers is already electric! <br><br>5 combined goals in the 1st period. We're in for a fun series 🍿 <a href="https://t.co/bwjwX5mNBl">pic.twitter.com/bwjwX5mNBl</a>

Alex Kirshner @alex_kirshner

Hockey would be in a stronger position globally if the NHL could somehow beam this entire Avalanche-Oilers series into every person's eyeballs

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Oilers and Avs goalies tonight 🤣 <a href="https://twitter.com/BR_OpenIce?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@BR_OpenIce</a> <a href="https://t.co/OyhMOQpgns">pic.twitter.com/OyhMOQpgns</a>

In a contest where seemingly everyone stuffed the stat sheet, J.T. Compher (two goals) and Cale Makar (one goal and two assists) stood out for Colorado, while McDavid (one goal and two assists) did for Edmonton.

The first period saw Evander Kane open the scoring just for Compher to answer in a mere 36 seconds. That was far longer than Makar needed when he responded to Zach Hyman's goal with one of his own just nine seconds later. The Makar goal was somewhat controversial because of an offside review, but it stood.

Intermission didn't cool down the respective offenses, as goals from Nazem Kadri, Ryan McLeod, Mikko Rantanen and Compher in the first seven minutes of the second period made it 6-3.

B/R Open Ice @BR_OpenIce

JT COMPHER GETS IT RIGHT BACK FOR THE AVS 🔥 <a href="https://t.co/3suspezeZF">pic.twitter.com/3suspezeZF</a>

B/R Open Ice @BR_OpenIce

MacKinnon with the soft mitts 👀🧤 <a href="https://t.co/GgVjkYiTLW">pic.twitter.com/GgVjkYiTLW</a>

B/R Open Ice @BR_OpenIce

This one COUNTS! <br><br>The Avs take back the lead 5 seconds after the Oilers tied the game 😳 <a href="https://t.co/z8zZz3xlQH">pic.twitter.com/z8zZz3xlQH</a>

B/R Open Ice @BR_OpenIce

GOALS ON GOALS ON GOALS 🚨 <a href="https://t.co/Bok7LjgCDD">pic.twitter.com/Bok7LjgCDD</a>

B/R Open Ice @BR_OpenIce

COMPHER AGAIN. 6-3 Avs and Mike Smith will leave the game 😳 <a href="https://t.co/JM4pUohtuB">pic.twitter.com/JM4pUohtuB</a>

B/R Open Ice @BR_OpenIce

Draisaitl and McDavid connect to try to get the Oilers back in this one 😤 <a href="https://t.co/sopY7BkXaK">pic.twitter.com/sopY7BkXaK</a>

B/R Open Ice @BR_OpenIce

IT'S 7-6. THIS IS NOT A DRILL 😱 <a href="https://t.co/jcEHCnm9YB">pic.twitter.com/jcEHCnm9YB</a>

The second period also marked the end of the day for both goaltenders with Edmonton pulling Mike Smith for Mikko Koskinen and Colorado inserting Pavel Francouz because Darcy Kuemper suffered an upper-body injury. McDavid managed a goal against the backup, but the Avalanche still led 7-4 heading to the third.

Nothing about Tuesday's game was straightforward, though, so it followed that Derek Ryan and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored to make it 7-6 and put all the pressure on Colorado's side in the closing stretch.

However, Gabriel Landeskog's empty-netter ended the tension for the victors, who will look to defend home ice once again in Thursday's Game 2.