After getting smoked by Nashville on Saturday the Avs were in need of yet another bounceback game vs their old friends from detroit. I’m sensing a theme so far this season, aren’t you? For the most part they continued their stubborn play for the first 53 minutes of the game, although they dominated on the shot sheet the puck wasn’t going where it needed to. At that point, the magic started happening. Nail Yakupov scored a PPG to close within 1, Mack put a lurid wrister off Big Carl’s jersey past Howard and then won it in OT with another on the rush.
The Avs were flat out dominant at 5v5 except on the scoreboard. In each period and overall they out attempted the wingys ending up +38/-26 (59.4%). It was even more dominant for SOG where they finished +27/-14 (+37/-24 in all situations).
The Avs were on an 0/11 streak on the PP before Yak finally found the back of the net again. Fans get upset seeing PP chances go by the wayside but depending on them to win games isn’t the way to go. For the record they have the 15th ranked PP in the league right now at 19.5%, quite a bit higher than last year, so there’s no reason to be concerned. The formula is win the game 5v5 and put it out of reach with your power play.
The bigger concern is the PK, which let in another goal on 3 chances. It’s now 76.3% and 27th in the league. Not good, and without some improvement there special teams will be losing games by not preventing goals rather than by not scoring them.
EJ was all over the game, scoring his 1st goal of the year and adding an assist. He also surpassed his season high for TOI at 30:48 while going over 22 minutes 5v5. Sam Girard was #2 in both, Barrie 3rd. Big Z was a distant 4th and Barbs/Bigras barely played at 10:33 and 9:32 respectively. It’s a foregone conclusion that one of them will sit Wednesday vs Dallas. Bigras was low man on the team so he’s probably the odd man out.
Mack’s line was the top line, then Nieto/Comeau with both Compher and Soderberg taking shifts at center with them. Dom Toninato also has the trust of the staff so far, ranking 7th among forwards at 5v5. Kerf, Sven and Yak brought up the rear.
– I probably sound like Toninato’s agent at this point but he’s been fantastic in 2 games. He got his first NHL point with an assist on EJ’s goal, finished at +13/-8 for on ice shot attempts and was tops on the team at 67% at the faceoff dot. He’s making a great case to stick on the Avs long term so far.
– Mikko had a rough night. Took the golden sombrero with 3 penalties and got no points in a forgettable performance. Despite that he was a a +7.26 CF Relative, so no big deal.
– Sam Girard is putting together a wonderful track record. He played his 10th game and now his contract is in force for the season. Didn’t get on the board with any points but he was creating opportunities all game and finished at +15/-10 (60%). He’s 19!
– Blake Comeau (91%) and Matt Nieto (83%) were your Corsi Stars of the game. Having depth forwards that aren’t getting slaughtered makes it possible to come back in a game like this. The fact that they can play reasonable minutes keeps Mack & Co fresh for the end of the game when they’re needed most.
Burgundy Narrative Metric
– “Best guys being your best guys” gets a (+) for Mack alone but EJ was equally huge
– Corsi gets a (+) and it wasn’t even close
– Power Play gets an (even) like Ryker said after they went 0/5 then had a big 1/1
– Turtle gets an (even) since they were down the whole 3rd
– Varly% gets a (n/a) Bernie wasn’t great but he was good enough
– Referee Oppression Index gets a (-) More soft calls, missed calls, the usual
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The Avs get ready to face Dallas Wednesday night after the flight home.