Despite a slow start the Avs once again provided us with a really entertaining game, this time it was with the result yet to be decided. Tyson Barrie and Nikita Zadorov lessened the impact of Erik Johnson’s suspension nicely in yet another example that the team has grown massively this season.
The final even strength shot attempt tally was a +56/-51 (52%) for the good guys but the work was really done after the opening 20 minutes. In P2 & P3 the Avs went +44/-27 and the Pens had no answers. The chart tells the story perfectly.
The power play got another goal, making 3 in their last 6 after an 0-for-20 stretch, and the PK was perfect. Now that both special teams are rolling, the staff can concentrate on augmenting even strength scoring and crafting a usable 4th line.
Minus EJ the 5v5 hierarchy went Barrie, Nemeth, Big Z, Barbs, Lindy and Girard. Overall there was almost the illusion of consistent pairs with Nemo/TB4, Z/Barbs and Lindy/Girard all very similar in ice time. The only real anomaly I’m seeing is Lindholm going from 4 shifts in the 2nd to 9 in the 3rd.
The forward top 6 was Comeau, Soderberg, Mack, Mikko, Landy, Wilson at 5v5 and Mack, Comeau, Landy, Mikko, Carl and Compher overall. The new 4th line of Jost/Kerf/Yak was played sparingly and by the eye test and statistically they were awful. We all really want to see a useful 4th line but this isn’t it. Too soft, too inexperienced and players that don’t really have complementary skills made for a mashup of leftovers rather than a cohesive unit.
– Tyson Barrie scored twice and is now tied for the league lead in scoring by defensemen with 4G/23A. 5 points in his last 2 games have him close to a 70 point pace. Holy cow.
– While Barrie jacked up the offense, Nikita Zadorov was masterful defensively. check out the shot numbers vs the Pens top players last night.
And to think this dude was scratched for 3 games in a row last month. You’ve come a long way, baby.
– After the Bernier fiasco vs Tampa it was good to see Varly step up and play like the #1 goalie he is – 28/30 at even strength and perfect on the penalty kill. He didn’t steal this game, didn’t have to, just gave the Avs a chance to win. The goal that looked like it went through his jersey was goofy but it’s the NHL, goofy stuff happens.
– I’ll confess I’m tickled that Sven Andrighetto had a whale of a game after I wrote about what he brings to the Avs yesterday. His line was stout and he ended with a gleaming +21/-13 and 4 SOG in 14:39 of ice time. We’ve all been waiting for him to put up some points and that finally happened with a couple assists in the 2nd period and 3rd Star of the Game. Well done.
Burgundy Narrative Metric
– “Best guys being your best guys” gets a (+) but this was pretty teamy as well
– Corsi gets a (+) thanks to a very strong final 40 minutes
– Power Play gets a (+) keep it rollin’
– Turtle gets a (+) for crushing the Pens in the 3rd despite a flurry at the end
– Varly% gets a (+) for a solid game
– Referee Oppression Index gets a (+) for not favoring America’s team
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The Avs play the Kings in LA on Thursday night.