In is first full season with the Colorado Avalanche, Mikko Rantanen led the club in goals scored – punctuated by his 20th of the year in the season finale on Sunday. Rantanen also had an assist to mark a solid night, despite suffering a 3-2 loss to the St. Louis Blues.
Rantanen, the No. 10 overall pick in 2015, came on strong late this season for Colorado; he recorded 12 of his 20 goals between Feb. 1 and April 9. When Rantanen scored, it usually meant good things for Colorado in a season that had very little good go its way. Eight of his goals came in Colorado wins, of which Colorado recorded just 22 this season. The 20-year-old skated in 74 games this season good for sixth on the team; his shooting percentage of 14.5 entering Sunday’s contest led the team among players with 20 or more games played.
The loss was Colorado’s 60th of the season, 56 of which came in regulation including Sunday. Rantanen’s goal gave Colorado a 2-1 lead, but as it did so often this year, the third period spelled doom for the Avs. Vladimir Sobotka and Vladimir Tarasenko scored within 1:19 of one another to reclaim the lead early in the period. Colorado could not convert two power play opportunities in the period. Jake Allen made 32 saves for St. Louis in the win.
Colorado’s 22-56-4 record earned them a mere 48 points on the season, the worst total in the shootout era. The Avalanche ranked dead last in the NHL in three key performance metrics on the season: Goals scored, goals against and power play percentage. They ranked second-to-last in the fourth, penalty kill percentage. Colorado’s -112 scoring differential was nearly double that of the second-worst team in the league, Arizona, who came in at -63.