Breaking Down: Avs/Sharks, Game 44
The Avs extended their win streak to 8 games with a performance that was both terrible and wonderful at the same time. The Avs took lots of penalties and the Sharks power play was strong, yet ultimately ineffective, and that created a stat sheet that disagreed vehemently with the eye test at times.
Just to get it out of the way, the Avs actually were the Corsi winners on the night at a +36/-35. Of course this disagrees with the final shot totals and the narrative during the telecast but that just highlights what San Jose (and the officials) did for the special teams portion of the game.
Taking score effects into account the Avs dominance at even strength was even more pronounced at 54%. I’m not going to polish this pile into something positive but it does show that there were aspects of the process that were functional despite other issues.
San Jose were granted 7 power plays, which I’ll characterize as excessive, that took up around 13 minutes of the game. In that time, they had 31 shot attempts (39% of total), 23 shots on goal (48% of total) and 5 high-danger scoring chances (42% of total). Strangely enough the Avs PK shut them down each time, although one goal happened one second after an Avs penalty expired. They remain 2nd in the NHL at 85.2%. This is where San Jose’s perceived dominance last night comes from.
The Avs had 4 power plays of their own, which I’ll characterize as lean. Anyway, they scored on one of them thanks to MacKinnon’s 2nd goal and also stick in 10th at 21%.
Sidebar: The Turtle
This was a different kind of turtle than we’re used to. It wasn’t littered with defensive defensemen chronically chipping the puck off the glass or icing the puck or the Roy-era collapse-o-rama. This was more of an attitude that went away from the confident style in the first 40 minutes to a tentative style that created a feedback loop of chances for the opponent. Gaps backed off, allowing room to roam through the neutral zone. The center stayed high in the offensive zone relieving forecheck pressure and allowing easy breakouts. The speed which was the most noticeable cause of Colorado’s advantage throughout the game wound down to San Jose’s level. They allowed the Sharks to dictate pace and it almost cost them. This is a fear I have with streaks on the line but from the post-game interviews and Coach Bednar’s presser it seems like everyone knows that this was a poor performance and corrections will be made.
The defensive regime went Big Z, EJ, Nemeth, Barbs, Lindholm, Girard at 5v5 and EJ, Nemeth, Z, Barbs, Girard, Lindy overall. Nemeth played 8:22 on the PK and Girard 4:16 on the PP as your special teams leaders.
The top 6 forwards were Mack, Landy, Mikko, Soderberg, Wilson, Bourque at 5v5 and Carl, Landy, Comeau, Mack, Mikko, Nieto overall. JT Compher was eased back into the lineup with only 6:21 at 5v5 and Toninato’s 1st game of the recall got him 7:53 overall for low man honors. Not a great night to read into usage with all the special teams play but the top 2 lines played significantly more than the others.
– Maybe I should just have a permanent MacKinnon section here. 2 goals in 32 seconds to open up the scoring and 3 points overall have him 2nd in the NHL with 57 points. Wow. Don’t want to slight Mikko here either because he’s 24th in the NHL with 44 points in the same number of games. He was the complete… um, package last night.
– Matt Nieto had one of the prettiest assists you’ll see on Carl Soderberg’s goal and added a score of his own later for insurance. He’s moved into 9th on the team with 17 points, just one behind Sven Andrighetto in the same number of games
– Jonathan Bernier continues to impress. His 5th start and 7th win in a row was filled with highlight reel saves and once again kept the Avs in it. I have no idea how long a goalie can keep up a 96% save percentage but I’m willing to come along for the ride.
Burgundy Narrative Metric
– “Best guys being your best guys” gets a (+) this was a top 6 and goalie show
– Corsi gets a (+) despite the optics
– Power Play gets a (+) in a 1 for 4 performance
– Turtle gets a (-) and please stop with this
– Varly% gets a (n/a) and Bernie% is a major thing now
– Referee Oppression Index gets a (-) I think they called the game to the situation and almost reversed the decision. Hated it.
/ / / / / /
The Avs play the Rangers tomorrow afternoon in a rematch of game 1
Vlad’s Post-Game from the Pepsi Center
Now that we have our YouTube Channel fully functioning for both live and archived events, we can present the Burgundy Rainbow Post-Game show for you here. Enjoy!
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