Bellemare impressing offensively
Former Vegas Golden Knights player Pierre-Édouard Bellemare has been showing his offensive skills of late for his new franchise, the Colorado Avalanche, and has been particularly effective in games against his former team this season.
He recorded the first three-point score of his career when he played in the Avalanche’s first fixture in Vegas, back at the end of October, registering two assists and a goal, and turned in another impressive attacking performance in the second game at T-Mobile Arena, producing his first multi-goal display, to take his tally to five points in just two games against his old team.
Bellemare, who started his career in Europe, played for 12 seasons, beginning in France, and then moving to Sweden, before he made the switch the NHL, signing up with the Philadelphia Flyers through free agency ahead of the 2014-15 season
In the course of five seasons in the NHL, Bellemare’s record goal tally was seven, achieved during 2015-16 when he was with the Flyers, and 16 points, a total he reached during the 2017-18 campaign with the Golden Knights, but he has shown a new level of attacking ability with the Avalanche and has already racked up six goals along with six assists in his 36 games so far this season.
He is usually given the task of helping his teammates shut down the opposition, and he did that to good effect alongside Valeri Nichushkin and Matt Calvert in Monday’s 7-3 win over the Golden Knights, when the line was trusted by Jared Bednar, the head coach, to preserve their lead, following two recent games in which the team let a lead slip in the third period.
Speaking about their work in that game, Bednar was complimentary about the way that they stuck at their task, even though it wasn’t the most glamorous duty:
“Our guys were doing the right things, so you’re going to get rewarded every once and awhile, even if they’re not pretty. To be able to make sure that they didn’t build too much momentum and come after us I thought was big. The Bellemare line was outstanding tonight.
The win means that the Avalanche hold a 13-2 aggregate lead in two games over Vegas this season, and it also helped to cement their position as the main challengers to the St. Louis Blues.
Although the Blues remain the favourites with sports betting companies to win the Division, Colorado are keeping pace with the leaders and remain in the hunt.
Words: Stijn Janssen