Player of the Week | Mikko Rantanen
Mikko Rantanen tied for a league-high eight points as part of three consecutive multi-point games to help the Colorado Avalanche to earn six points before their scheduled bye week.
3-5–8 over 3GP
Three consecutive multi-point games
Eight points tied league-high
Mikko Rantanen tied for a league-high eight points as part of three consecutive multi-point games to help the Colorado Avalanche win all three outings before their scheduled bye week.
With the Avalanche on the hunt for a playoff spot, it was a timely three wins in front of a home crowd at Pepsi Center that started with a Tuesday night matchup against the visiting Winnipeg Jets. The Finnish-born Rantanen scored a goal and a pair of assists, including the helper on the overtime decider, spurred by the winger's crucial blocked shot to sway a 3-2 victory.
"Mikko [Rantanen] blocked a shot and poked it ahead to me," Johnson spoke post-game to reporters of his overtime winner assisted by Rantanen. "I just took it and kept going and was able to find the back of the net. As a defenseman, you don't get too many breakaways, so I wanted to make it count."
Rantanen also spoke of the importance of starting the crucial stretch off on the right foot.
"It's a big two points. We needed the extra point. We're battling for a playoff spot and we're closing in on some teams."
The team's momentum carried over with the Columbus Blue Jackets in town Thursday night. Avs goaltender Jonathan Bernier made 34 saves to post a shutout for a 2-0 win, while Rantanen scored the game-winning goal and later assisted on Matt Nieto's marker in the third frame. The goal was Rantanen's 14th of the season and seventh on the power-play, and he was named the second star of the game for his performance.
With his team headed in the right direction, Rantanen credited the group for playing like a team, but assured reporters post-game that the Avalanche were not about to get comfortable with one game left on the docket before the break.
"It's the mark of a good team. It's what you need to do if you want to make the playoffs, you have to get a streak going. Now we're four or five games above .500. It's looking good, but you can't get too comfortable."
With his team up 6-2 in the third period of an eventual 7-2 win over the Minnesota Wild Saturday night, Rantanen sure was looking comfortable as he was caught jamming out to Bon Jovi's "Livin' on a Prayer" during a stoppage of play. The '80s classic seems to be a big hit among the younger NHL'ers in the game, as some may remember Toronto Maple Leafs teammates Mitch Marner and Auston Matthews indulging in a bench duet of the same song last season.
Rantanen finished the game with his third consecutive multi-point outing with a goal and a pair of assists, earning an encore as the game's second star.
The Avs ended their week in line for one of the Western Conference wild card spots with 47 points at the halfway mark of the 2017-18 season.