DENVER, CO- Avalanche forward J.T. Compher skates to an opposing goaltender’s crease on a mission to create havoc on the forecheck, and even if it’s ugly, to put in the puck.
“That’s how you score goals,” Compher said. “Getting to the net.”
Colorado’s third-line center is more than just talk. Remember Saturday?
In the Avs’ 4-3 overtime defeat against Vegas, Compher scored the third-period equalizer when he bullied Golden Knights defenseman Nate Schmidt by knocking him off-balance with a two-gloved shove — and creating the small space required to rebound a Nazem Kadri shot attempt back into the net.
“A big goal from the Compher line getting it in on the forecheck and bringing us back to even,” Avs coach Jared Bednar said postgame. “Going into the playoffs, you have to expect that teams are going to check you hard. That’s the goal of every team.”
Lately, Colorado’s third “Compher line” hasn’t been afraid to bring the pain. In three games of Western Conference round-robin seeding play, the trio of Compher, Andre Burakovsky, and Joonas Donskoi combined for eight points (four goals) with a net-aggressive brand of hockey.