The Avs squeaked out a nice shutout for their 4th win in a row, 2-0. Despite some fairly ugly shot metrics they really limited the Jackets chances and never gave the feeling they were in trouble. On the other hand this is two games in a row that they took more than they gave and that’s something no one wants to see become a habit.
The Avs were playing a nice even 1st then went on a big run to end up +10 by the end. From there Columbus took over fiercely for the next 30 minutes but the only goal was for the good guys. In spite of that, the Avs had the strength to dictate play for the final 10 minutes of the game and Matt Nieto’s semi-ENG iced it late.
Oof, that’s nasty. Of course when you dig a little deeper you see that the Jackets only had 3 dangerous scoring chances in the 2nd & 3rd, so it’s deceiving. 23 shots on goal at 5v5 and only 3 moved the meter. Again, not the way you want to see the Avs play but no damage was done.
The power play scored the goal that mattered and finished 1/3, not bad at all. The PK started another streak after giving up their first goal in 11 games vs the Jets with a perfect 3-for-3 night.
The defensive regime went Nemeth, Barbs, EJ, Z, Girard, Lindy at 5v5 and EJ, Z, Nemeth, Barbs, Girard, Lindy overall. 2nd game in a row that Nemo has been #1 at even strength, which is a bit of a concern but he has been playing well.
Top 6 forwards were Landy, Carl, Comeau, Nieto, Mack, Mikko at 5v5 and Carl, Landy, Comeau, Mack, Mikko and Gabe Bourque of all people overall. AJ Greer was low man again at 7:36, a slight bump from last game but I’d hardly say he earned it.
– Mikko Rantanen had a goal and assist making 14G/24A on the season. Congrats Mikko, you’ve matched last year’s 38 points (20G/18A) before the halfway mark of the season! He must have been pissed when his 8-game point streak ended against the Islanders because he’s more than made up for it with 2G/3A in the two games since.
– Young Sam Girard assisted on Mikko’s PPG giving him 4 assists in the past 4 games, definitely making the loss of Tyson Barrie hurt less. We need to work on getting Sam a goal now, I think he’s ready for one (with the Avs).
– On a down note the 4th line of Greer/Kerf/Yak really struggled.
Considering there were 5 Avs forwards above 60% CF this is a doozy. Looking for explanations, these guys got smoked when they were put out against the Jackets top pair of Werenski and Jones, +0/-10. That’s understandable to some degree and a terrible matchup by the Avs staff. I’m not laying this all on Yakupov at all but he is so ineffective against teams that are strong in the neutral zone and preventing d-zone exits that he may as well not even be on the ice. Just in general this line doesn’t work, which is a shame, and with injuries all over the place there’s no easy personnel solution right now.
– Going back to more positive things, Jon Bernier had a solid night stopping all 34 shots he faced to earn his 2nd shutout of the season. He’s becoming a bigger and bigger part of the Avs success story this year.
Burgundy Narrative Metric
– “Best guys being your best guys” gets a (+) Mikko with 2 points, Mack 1, yep
– Corsi gets a (-) for the 2nd game in a row. Stop.
– Power Play gets a (+) for the GWG
– Turtle gets a (-) this was more a pod of gigantic Green Turtles
– Varly% gets a (n/a) but the Bernie% was strong
– Referee Oppression Index gets a (+) for some really questionable icing calls
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The Avs will retire Milan Hejduk’s jersey tomorrow night before facing the Wilds. Be in your seats by 5:45 of course.