With a 5-2 win against the St. Louis Blues on Sunday, the Colorado Avalanche have swept their opponents out of the first round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
This marked the first series sweep for the Avalanche since they defeated the Vancouver Canucks in four games in the 2001 Western Conference quarterfinal.
The sweep was a display of sheer dominance for Colorado. The Avalanche outscored the Blues 20-7 and were behind in the scoring for only a little over seven minutes in the entire series.
Brandon Saad, Mikko Rantanen, Nathan MacKinnon, Gabriel Landeskog, and Valeri Nichushkin scored for the Avs in the deciding contest, while Vladimir Tarasenko had both goals for the Blues.
“To come in here in a tough building to play and take two in a row against a desperate team, it’s not easy to do,” Landeskog said. “I’m happy that we got it done without giving them any sort of momentum.”
For St. Louis, this was their first playoff sweep since the Los Angeles Kings ousted them from the second round of the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The Blues were nothing if not motivated, with captain Ryan O’Reilly stating ahead of the series that his team was going to win it. The boast seemed to galvanize the Avalanche, who used it as a rallying cry.
The victory marked the ninth playoff victory over St. Louis in 10 games for Colorado and the seventh post-season win in a row against the club. It was also the second straight first round elimination for the Blues.
“They’re the better team, for sure,” head coach Craig Berube said. “We’ve got to get better, we’ve got to improve.”
“To tell you honestly, I’m not ready for these questions right now,” Tarasenko said. “To answer all of those is there’s no excuses. I can [say] whatever I want to say, and say like we don’t fight enough, but it is what it is. This is embarrassing. [It’s] always hard to lose in the playoffs, especially like this. There [are] no words, that much you can see.”
The Avalanche scored six empty-netters in the series, including two in Sunday’s decisive victory.
Pic: Getty Images