Ten wins in a row is a great thing to see as a fan, especially fans of the Avs. Now we are reminded just how difficult it is to play at that level for so long. A perfect storm of illness, injury and schedule conspired along with a hungry Montreal squad to make an end to a wonderful month. On the bright side, the streak got them back among the pack in the Central and now that it’s over they don’t have to hear about it constantly.
There’s not a lot to take from this game, the Avs played sloppy and slow all night and predictably got smoked in all facets. Montreal ground the game to death and made it super low-event, only 71 even strength shot attempts for both clubs. The final tally was a +31/-40 for Colorado and that seems closer than it really was thanks to a turtle by the Habs in the 3rd.
The power play was uninspired and blanked in 4 chances. Coach Bednar even went with PP2 to start in the final attempt. The PK let one by in 4 chances for the Canadiens but wasn’t looking too good either.
Defense: EJ, Z, Barbs, Girard, Nemeth, Lindholm
The staff had enough of Nemeth and Barbs early in the 2nd and both sat for over 5 minutes before returning with alternate D-partners. Lindholm was used even more sparingly than usual, ending up just under 10 minutes with more than 2 of that on PK.
Top-6: Mack, Landy, Mikko, Compher, Jost, Soderberg
For the first time in a while there wasn’t a defined top 6/bottom 6 demarcation. The second half of the game saw a major line blender and opportunities from the youthful contingent. I’m projecting here, but I think the streak caused the staff to over-rely on the Soderberg line. If clearing that out paves the way for guys like Jost & Compher to return to top 6 minutes then thank goodness we lost.
– He wasn’t very excited about it on the ice but Mack scored a helluva goal from outside of the slot to break the shutout. That’s 60 points. Take out the situation and it should be a reason for a little joy.
– Bernie deserves all the accolades he got for the previous 10 games and he sure didn’t let this one slide on his own. He saved 36 of 39 last night.
– I don’t want to tool on Barbs and Nemo too much because there’s plenty of blame to go around but this here’s not a pretty picture:
Claude Julien matched his top line against them for most of the first half of the game and it was a disaster. Nemeth managed to do ok in some of the weaker matchups but was really exposed in a shutdown role. Neither guy could clear the puck effectively and it led to extended zone time for the Habs. Both had some really long shifts, always a bad sign.
Burgundy Narrative Metric
– “Best guys being your best guys” gets a (-) All good things must come to an end
– Corsi gets a (-) by a ton
– Power Play gets a (-) They finally got some PP chances and did diddlysquat with them
– Turtle gets a (+) 2 goals in garbage time, not bad
– Varly% gets a (n/a) but Bernie% was still ok
– Referee Oppression Index gets an (even) The Avs played so sloppy the refs couldn’t help but call an involved game
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The Avs are hopefully resting up in St Louis for a big game tomorrow