The Avs capped off the first quarter of the season with a strong win over divisional foe Dallas. The Stars looked a little gassed from playing the previous night but the Avs held up strong through the first two periods thanks to a crafty pinch by Erik Johnson and a fantastic goal off the faceoff by Nail Yakupov with 0.2 seconds left in P2.
The final 5v5 shot attempt tally was a +35/-39 for the Avs thanks to a bit of a turtle in the 3rd period where they were outattempted by 5. Captain Gabe’s goal 1:11 into the 3rd sealed this one up and from then on it was score effect city. The Avs did win the SOG battle 32-28 overall and 24-23 at 5v5. Good show.
EJ played so well you could have sworn he had another 30 minute performance but the staff actually took it easy on him and he only ended with a bit under 23, slightly ahead of Tyson Barrie. Big Z was a strong 3rd and led the team in PK time. Girard and Barbs were close behind but Chris Bigras lagged by 9 minutes after a couple of grisly errors and multiple benchings.
The top line dominated TOI for forwards as usual with Soderberg, Compher and Colin Wilson, for unexplainable reasons, filling out the top 6. The 4th line of Toninato, Yak and Bourque were the low forwards.
– Jon Bernier earned his first shutout with Colorado thanks to a solid performance and a little luck in the form of 3 posts hit by the Stars. He’s mentioned that goalie coach Jussi Parkkila has been working with him on some pretty serious changes and he looked a lot more comfortable than we’ve seen him so far this year.
– Nate MacKinnon assisted on all 3 goals giving him 7G/18A for Q1, a 103 point pace.
– While he still struggles to find a role at even strength, Nail Yakupov doesn’t struggle shooting the puck. His goal with less than a second left in P2 was a play and a shot that only a handful of players can do by pure skill rather than luck. You take that and forget about him getting caved in at +4/-15 on the night.
– I appreciate the fact that you can’t have guys on the roster that never play but benching Andrighetto for Gabe Bourque seems like a substitution just for the sake of it. The 4th line suffered for it and to be honest there was no difference in the PK. These sandpaper over skill decisions are usually regrettable.
– Chris Bigras seems to be fresh out of confidence at this point. He was benched in each period thanks to jittery play and poor puck decisions. The staff have given him opportunities to work through this but it’s not getting better it’s getting worse. Everyone knows he can play better but without signs of improvement in the past few games and Anton Lindholm back to health there’s a decision that needs to be made here on how to proceed.
Burgundy Narrative Metric
– “Best guys being your best guys” gets a (+) for Mack alone but EJ was equally huge
– Corsi gets an (even) but we’ll call it a strong even
– Power Play gets an (even) 0/3, they didn’t need it but they did create some nice chances when they did have the opportunity
– Turtle gets a (-) first obvious turtle in a while so we’ll let it slide
– Varly% gets a (+) by proxy, Bernie had a shutout yet was only 2nd star
– Referee Oppression Index gets a (-) the call on Mikko at the end was silly and unnecessary. They let the teams play all night then dropped that turd on us.
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The Avs grab an early practice and some turkey then head to Minny tonight.