After their emotional and physical brawl with Anaheim on Friday and immediate travel after, it’s no surprise the Avs were back on their heels 20 hours later when the puck dropped in Dallas. They were a step behind and knew it immediately, but instead of mailing it in like last year they rolled their sleeves up and made it a game for the last 40 minutes. The result was disappointing but the process was pretty promising.
The 1st period was a Corsi disaster at +6/-24 but from then on they the Avs had the upper hand in shot attempts +27/-19. Final percentage was 43.4% thanks to the outlier period but there’s merit in the 59% for the rest of the game. The power play struggled again going 0-for-4 but the PK continues to get better at 5/6. Right now the PP is 22nd in the league and the PK is slowly rising at 29th. The Avs are 3rd in the league with 28 minors taken and 26 times shorthanded (4.33 per game) so until that changes the PK won’t look very impressive.
Time on Ice
Mack and Mikko led the forwards unsurprisingly at 5v5, Andrighetto missed some shifts for unknown reasons so he lagged there. Landy led forwards overall with 21:35, including over 4 minutes on the PP and nearly 5 on PK. Compher was top 5 both at evens and overall and played over 4 minutes on PK.
EJ & Barrie led the D at 5v5 both over 18 minutes, EJ had the edge overall at 28:35 and more than 6 minutes on PK. Big Z was a distant 3rd despite taking 3 minors and Nemeth trailed him by a bunch thanks to a a fight and injury early in the 3rd. Barbs and Bigras played standard 3rd pair minutes.
– Here’s a pretty telling stat collection about how the defense gets used. Bigras and Barberio are the “3rd pair” but they spent less than half their shifts together, Big Russ actually spent more time with Barrie. Bigras was a team best +7/-5 overall and was +5/-1 with TB4 while getting crushed +1/-4 with Barbs.
– Colin Wilson had his best game with the Avs to date, leading all forwards and D with a 65% CF and picking up his first point with a solid forechecking job that ended with the Duchene goal. He’s still an awkward fit with Landy & Compher but Coach Bednar is starting to move him around in the lineup trying to find a way to use his skills. In a couple of shifts with Matt Duchene they were +4/-0 together, which is nice.
– Alexander Kerfoot and Nail Yakupov were on the strugglebus bigtime last night. The Stars speed didn’t allow them the time and space they’ve had against slower teams like Boston & Anaheim and that showed their limitations. They finished bottom of squad at 20% and 15.4% CF respectively. We’ve all loved what those two have shown so far but if this is what they are against the better teams in the league then the staff has some thinking to do about their usage.
– Varly once again played a solid game statistically but definitely had to scramble a lot with a ton of close-in plays. He stopped 33/35 overall, matching his season average Sv% of .944
Burgundy Narrative Metric
– “Best guys being your best guys” gets a faint (+) Varly was excellent, Dutch had a goal and Landy was once again a beast but the rest were mediocre or worse
– Corsi gets a (-) overall but only because of the 1st period
– Power Play gets a (-) for looking pretty shaggy after some promising games
– Turtle gets an (even) for no lead to sit on
– Varly% gets a (+) because this could have been very ugly early on
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The team is in Nashville already enjoying a much needed day off before hitting the practice rink tomorrow, hopefully joined by a fully healthy Tyson Jost. Avs play the Preds Tuesday night.