Breaking Down: Avs/Bolts, Game 32
The Avs dropped their guard for a 4 minute stretch, let in 4 bad goals but rebounded with an entertaining 3rd period of score-effect theatre. If nothing else it was good to see some goals scored, dangerous offensive chances and a really awful power play drought broken.
I’m not sure there’s much to take statistically from this game. The first half was close, then Tampa blew the game out and sat back and did what they needed to do for two points.
If you stretch that 3rd period line out it actually spells “fun” in cursive. Final tally for the Avs at even strength was +50/-45 (52%) but score-effected and 5v5 it was more like 48% for what it’s worth. Scoring chances told a much different story where the Avs ended up +14/-28 and +6/-9 high danger.
The power play broke a hideous 0-for-20 streak in the 3rd with goals from Captain Gabe and Mack to finish 2/5 on the night. They had sunk down to 24th in the league but now sit 19th at 18%. Let’s hope some confidence can be built off this because it’s been a sneaky big part of why they’ve scored 2 goals or less in 7 out of 9 games this month.
Erik Johnson’s ejection created opportunities for everyone else to grab some major minutes but it’s interesting that he had only played 11:32 through most of two periods. Let’s say that never happens, he might not have made it to 20 minutes much less the 25 he usually plays. Something to think about.
Big Z stepped into the top spot 5v5 followed by Barrie, Girard, Nemeth, EJ*, Barbs and Lindholm. Just for fun, 3rd period minutes went Barrie (9:14), Big Z (8:27), Young Sam (6:54), Nemeth (5:34), Barbs (4:58) and Lindholm with only 2 shifts (1:54). This could be a preview of tomorrow’s game if the NHL screws the Avs over with another needless suspension.
Top 6 forwards were Mack, Landy, Wilson, Comeau, Mikko and Compher at 5v5. In all situations it went Landy, Compher, Mack, Mikko, Wilson and Big Carl. This isn’t my irrational hatred of Wilson talking but I think he’s starting to be overplayed. He’s doing fine in his role, finally, but playing him more isn’t going to make him contribute more to scoring and winning games.
– Landy had his second hat trick of the year and added a pair of assists following a brief 3-game dry spell. Mack could have had a hat trick as well but one goal was taken away by the ref ignoring a blatant slash on the goal line and another should go to Nikita Zadorov once the league takes another look.
– Nail Yakupov returned to the lineup and scored an assist on Landy’s 1st goal along with 3 shots on goal and 7 shot attempts. He looked rusty and I still have doubts about a way to properly use him, but that’s a good bounce back.
– Tyson Barrie had a 3 assist night, 2 of which came on the power play goals. It sounds crazy but it doesn’t seem like he has 23 assists in 31 games. He’s still on pace for a 65 point season. Wow.
– I didn’t like Bernier getting the start and what happened in the middle of the 2nd period is exactly why. I’m not saying the same thing wouldn’t have happened with Varly in net but if that does happen you want to be sure the game wasn’t lost because you didn’t use your #1 goalie. This is the 2nd time I’ve said this before a Bernier start this season, the other was vs Dallas when he gave up 4 goals on 9 shots. It shouldn’t matter how well the backup is playing, you have a big game you use your #1 unless he played the night before. No exceptions.
The Johnson Hit
I don’t have a problem with EJ’s hit, that same play gets made 5 or 10 times a game. I think a double minor would have been appropriate (1 slash, 1 hit from behind) but it’s understandable the refs fell for the embellishment in the moment and awarded a major. The Misconduct was a ridiculous overreaction. The refs should give themselves Misconducts for poor game management after one team jumped out to a massive lead. Something like this was bound to happen, especially after ignoring an obvious slash that directly prevented a goal.
Burgundy Narrative Metric
– “Best guys being your best guys” gets a (+) thanks to Mack, Landy & TB4
– Corsi gets an (even) but in real life it was a slight minus
– Power Play gets a (+) score effects or not they all count
– Turtle gets a (+) for one of the best 3rd periods of the season
– Varly% gets a (n/a) but Bernie was pretty much garbage
– Referee Oppression Index gets a (-) for many things but especially jobbing Mack on a sure goal and freaking out on EJ’s hit
/ / / / / /
The Avs face the Pens tomorrow night
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