The Avs haven’t been in the Pepsi Center for a while so it’s understandable that they looked like the road team for the first 20 minutes. Missing Mack and now Mikko, hopes weren’t high pre-game but they managed to find a way to elevate their game in the 2nd/3rd periods and grab a 3-1 victory.
It’s interesting to see how negative events can color perception of an entire game. The general consensus is that the Avs got smoked last night and were lucky to eke out a win. The old school numbers like overall shot differential (39-20) and the eye test bear that out. When you get used to seeing a dominant 1st line carry a team, subtle team wins seem like regression.
The fact is that the Avs did get smoked – for two-thirds of the first period and that’s it. After a back-and-forth opening, the Sharks went on an 18-2 shot attempt run to end the period and the situation looked dire. In the latest demonstration that this team is resilient and not the collapsing fools of the past, they came back and made it a solid game for a win. Let’s compare:
1st period: CF% +10/-25, SOG +3/-12, Scoring Chances +3/-9, Goals 0/0
2nd/3rd: CF% +30/-28, SOG +15/-18, Scoring Chances, +15/-9, Goals +2/-1
The Sharks +19 overall shot differential comes mainly from the horrifying 1st period run and 9 shots while they were on special teams. That’s it.
Colorado responded to a bad period by rolling out strong early in the second, put up two goals and really didn’t turtle in the 3rd.
The PK did it’s job once again and still sit 3rd in the league (behind SJS) at 83.7%. The power play is in another slump and are in 16th after being in the top 10 not so long ago. I try not to care about PP scoring too much but with Mack and Mikko out it’s going to be needed.
The defensive regime went EJ, Z, Barrie, Lindholm, Nemeth, Girard at 5v5 and the same overall with Nemo/Lindy swapped. Interesting to note that everyone but Sam played on the PK, even TB4 got over a minute and was 2nd in PK time.
The forward top 6 was Comeau, Landy, Compher, Jost, Nieto, Kerf at 5v5 and basically the same overall with Soderberg 5th and Kerf 7th. Greer only played 5:35 in a total of 9 shifts. It’s tough for coaches with a cobbled together lineup but he deserved more of a look. Nobody’s going to get in a rhythm with that kind of usage.
– The Jost & Compher tandem stood out in many positive ways. Both had a goal and an assist and that line accounted for all the offense. The 3rd member of the line switched back and forth between Gabe Bourque, who had a tap in from Compher’s excellent assist to start the Avs scoring, and Nail Yakupov who had his usual night of good plays here and there but overall being a drag. I really liked Jost’s game, it was definitely one of his best as a pro and a sign that he’s starting to get comfortable with NHL pace.
– A line I didn’t care for was Kerfoot’s. Wilson in for Mikko is a downgrade in many ways and he wasn’t able to keep up. He’s a passenger so it’s hard to tell if he was killing Gabe & Kerf or if they were all just bad in general. Other than Mikko coming back, which sounds iffy at best, there isn’t an easy fix here.
– Carl Soderberg had a great game and played big, which we’d all like to see more. Jost & Compher got the glory but Carl & Comeau were the stars at generating shots and scoring chances.
– Bernie was fantastic again with a 97% performance and one goal allowed. Hasn’t lost a game at home in over 7 weeks!
Burgundy Narrative Metric
– “Best guys being your best guys” gets a (+) now that Bernie, Jost & Compher are now in the “best guys” category
– Corsi gets a (-) for the 1st period meltdown
– Power Play gets a (-) and isn’t getting better. Ut oh.
– Turtle gets a (-) but not a big minus since it was a couple small turtles instead of one big one
– Varly% gets a (n/a) but Bernie% returns with big +
– Referee Oppression Index gets a (-) Another laissez faire game and penalties were even so not a lot to complain about here.
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The Avs head back out for more road games beginning Thursday in St Louis.