The Avalanche were looking for a rebound performance after a flat performance in Dallas on Saturday and they got it, at least early on. They matched the Preds in a grindy first period and managed to take a lead when Nathan MacKinnon scored a fluke goal on the power play 4 minutes into the second. From there it went horribly wrong. The next 9 minutes saw a 9-3 NSH shot attempt run and 2 goals, one on a heinous defensive breakdown and the second thanks to a dumb penalty by the captain on the penalty kill. Another doublet of bad/soft defensive breakdowns gave the Preds a 4-1 lead with 16 minuted to go and that was that.
Most shot metrics back up the eye test save for scoring chances. The Avs dominated Scoring Chances 20-14 yet the Preds had the edge in High-Danger Scoring Chances 7-2. Put another way, the Avs managed to get only 10% of their chances from dangerous areas while Nashville got 50% of theirs. This is very troubling and also backs up the eye test. As the game wore on the Avs got weaker on the puck and completely dominated in the neutral zone.
Time on Ice
Mack and Landy led the forwards in ice time both overall and 5v5. For those that worry about Tyson Jost being stuck on the 4th line, he wasn’t. He was 3rd in overall TOI for forwards at 15 minutes and 5th at even strength with 11:22. Kerfoot and Comeau trailed the rest of the team as has been the case for the last few games.
Defensive usage was in line with the season so far with EJ and Barrie leading the way. As I suspected, Chris Bigras took Nemeth’s minutes (around 19) and Z/Barbs were close behind with around 17 each.
Other than subjective observations there’s not a lot to say about any one Avs player. The lines were blended for most of the second half of the game in order to find some chemistry and none was found. If asked to give you three stars of the game, I would give you one. JT Compher led the team in 5v5 shots with 4, no one else had more than 2. He had 4 individual scoring chances and again no one else had more than 2. Even tho’ his indecision with the puck started the ball rolling on the 4v1 that led to the Preds tying goal, he was the lone bright spot in the 3rd period when most of the team was moping around. Fans are still hesitant to put him up with the core group, but they shouldn’t be. Trust me, he’s going to be there soon.
Burgundy Narrative Metric
– “Best guys being your best guys” gets a big ol’ (-) All of them sucked
– Corsi gets a big ol’ (-)
– Power Play gets an (even) but only barely so
– Turtle gets an (even) for no lead to sit on
– Varly% gets a (-) not really his fault but he had a sneaky bad game
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The guys are back in Denver and will practice today ahead of tomorrow’s clash with the Blues. Sounds like Patrik Nemeth’s shoulder is better than expected, which is nice. They missed him a whole bunch last night.