Another scruffy performance by the Avs but it got them 2 points and a 4-3-1 record in the “Missing Nate” era. The process hasn’t been pretty lately but results are ok. Silver lining, this is the type of mentality teams need to have if they’re going to be successful in the NHL. Also, shoutout to the Rampage who got their first Rodeo Road Trip win in two years against Milwaukee. The Eagles completed a franchise hat trick by beating Idaho which stopped a 6 game losing streak and 3 losses in a row to the Steelheads. That’s a good night, no St Valentines Day Massacre this year.
This was a brutal game for the Avs, they had nothing going for most of the night. The 1st was back and forth until the final few minutes where the Habs went on a 10-3 shot run. The 2nd opened with a careless o-zone penalty on Kerfoot but coming out of that we saw one of the most dominant stretches of the entire season. The Avs held the puck in the Montreal zone for around 3 minutes and racked up 9 shot attempts. It was beautiful, but that was basically it for the night. The run continued to mid-2nd but for the last 30 minutes they managed only 10 shot attempts. They did score 2 goals however, and that’s what ultimately counts.
Final tally was +43/-58 and scoring chances, shots, etc fell in line with that. Oddly enough score effects didn’t obscure the ugly statline and they finished at 57-61% across the board.
PP was 0/2, no help there as usual. PK was 4/4 and once again saved the day.
Defensive usage went EJ, Barrie, Z, Nemeth, Girard, Lindy at 5v5 and same overall except Z/Nemeth swapped thanks to PK time. Speaking of PK time, Nemeth played 6:41 of 7:20 total. He is now the go to PK specialist and it’s interesting that Zadorov rarely plays there anymore.
Top 6 forwards were Landy, Mikko, Carl, Jost, Wilson, Nieto at 5v5 and Landy, Carl, Nieto, Compher, Mikko, Bourque overall. Matt Nieto was the special teams star with over 5 minutes on the PK.
– It’s tough to find positives out of this match but Varly was one for sure. He was a perfect 44/44 for his 2nd shutout of the year. Having not 1 but 2 goalies that can win a game like this is huge for a team with so much youth and so many injuries.
– AJ Greer got on the board with an assist on Soderberg’s goal. Most fans don’t care for his game at this point and the staff aren’t to the point where he plays more than token minutes but this is a step up from not knowing if he dressed for the game.
– Alexander Kerfoot had a gruesome game with multiple hideous turnovers in the d-zone that led to Montreal scoring chances, a careless stick penalty in the o-zone and one long stretch on the bench. He was on pace to play nearly 20 minutes half way through the game but Coach Bednar stapled him to the bench for the final 8:33 of the 2nd but rebounded with 4:21 in the 3rd and a lolgoal. Btw, he had 5 shots on goal, around 4 times his normal shot generation rate. He’s a tough cat to figure out but he produces so the best thing to do is go with it and keep working on the rough edges.
– Nobody expects Gabe Bourque’s hot streak to become who he is but it is nice to see. He’s got 3G/1A in his past 5 games, as incredible as it seems it’s all part of the Avs depth delivering where in past seasons they remained anonymous.
– Carl Soderberg put a silly goal past Niemi, ultimately the game-winner, and keeps on rolling regardless of the situations or linemates he’s involved with. His line is getting buried as far as shot metrics go, especially now that Blake Comeau is out, but they aren’t losing games. Just to throw this out there, his scoring rate is 260% higher than last season and right back to his career average. That’s a huge bounceback for a fellow his age.
Burgundy Narrative Metric
– “Best guys being your best guys” gets a (+) Thanks to Varly, Gabe and others
– Corsi gets a (-) the process is slipping away, far away
– Power Play gets a (-) the usual ineffectiveness and don’t see any changes…
– Turtle gets a (-) this was gigantic, +10/-31 in the 2nd half of the game
– Varly% gets a (+) and a massive one at that
– Referee Oppression Index gets a (-) The screwup on Kerf’s penalty was comedy but they called a decent game otherwise
/ / / / / /
The Avs have a 1-game roadie in Winnipeg tomorrow, will we see Nate?!?!?
BR Postgame from the Pepsi Center
Our man Vlad was on the scene last night with all the details. Check out our YouTube Channel for this and more features.