The Avs needed a win vs Winnipeg and thanks to 2 goals in overtime from Nathan MacKinnon they got one. Call it an ugly win if you like but with a big hole in the lineup where Gabe Landeskog used to be I’d say it was resilient.
Overall shot attempts favored the Jets by 9 but the game was far from consistent. Winnipeg went on 4 separate shot runs, 10-1 in the mid-1st, 8-2 in the 2nd, 6-0 early in the 3rd and 9-3 right after Nikita Zadorov tied the game midway through the 3rd. During those runs they were dominant and hemmed the Avs in the d-zone shift after shift. Both of their goals came from runs like this.
This is the first chance I’ve had to watch the Jets this year but it seems their strategy is to sell out for big runs like this when they can, especially early in games, tire the opponent out and cruise otherwise. If you want something positive out of this, the Avs dominated any time the Jets couldn’t summon the pressure for one of these runs.
The defensive hierarchy continued with EJ, Barrie & Girard tops then Z, who has taken the 4th spot handily at this point. Anton Lindholm trailed off late to finish as the low man. I think Lindy might have run out of gas. His 1st shift in the 3rd lasted 2 minutes, his 2nd was quick and ended with the WIN goal, his 3rd was a long PK ending with Z’s goal and there was one more after that where he got hemmed in the d-zone for a minute.
JT Compher led the forwards in all situations but the 5v5 list had 7 players all within a minute at the top which was a mixture of the top 3 lines. Coach Bednar was rolling 3 all night and ignoring the 4th. Dominic Toninato didn’t play in the last 25 minutes plus OT, Gabe Bourque only had a pair of PK shifts in the 3rd and Yak was used very sparingly all game. The staff can get away with this with 2 days off now but this isn’t going to work on b2b’s. At least they have 3 lines working instead of just 2, so that’s progress.
– The College line was a bit of a revelation and it wasn’t even close to firing on all cylinders. Jost still looks out of sorts for the most part and wasn’t noticeable on many shifts. On the other hand he has a role he can grow into here and two linemates that play the game at the same speed and the same way. Kerfoot had a big game with a goal and assist, albeit not with his regular linemates. Compher assisted on Kerf’s PPG and led the forwards in TOI. Just imagine this line 5, 10 games from now and smile.
– Big Z scored a goal for the 2nd straight game and it was a beauty. Also topped the Ds with a +10/-6 effort at even strength. Dude likes playing the Jets obviously.
– The Soderberg line continued it’s solid play as the shutdown line and logged a bunch of minutes vs the Winnipeg top 6. All of them finished at 60% or above for shot attempts, which is nice.
– Varly returned to the lineup and had another ho hum 94% save percentage night, stealing the game while not making a lot of noise about it.
– Even strength scoring is really drying up fast and it is very concerning. Z’s goal was technically at 5v5 but it was at the end of a PK shift. Not good.
Burgundy Narrative Metric
– “Best guys being your best guys” gets a (+) for Mack’s 2 OT goals alone
– Corsi gets a (-) but was so inconsistent it’s hard to draw much from it
– Power Play gets a (+) 2/5 including the GWG
– Turtle gets a (-) and boy did they get smoked after Z tied it up
– Varly% gets a (+) and great to see him back
– Referee Oppression Index gets an (-) totally garbage night by this crew
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The Avs have a couple days off before the Devils come to town on Friday night.