Breaking Down: Avs/Oilers, Game 60
Jared Bednar has had enough. This was a message game for a few players specifically and to the team in general. Despite falling ass-backwards into a point, playing like they did last night is unacceptable and whatever you might feel the Avs goals are for the rest of the season that has to change. Fans have been asking for the blender and we got it bigtime.
The Avs started out with a solid 8-0 SOG run but that was about it in the 1st. The Oilers went on a 23-6 attempt run in the last 15 minutes that obliterated any good feels from the open. Whatever the staff said or changed at inters worked ok and the 2nd period, while marred by a couple of bad goals against (more on that later), ended up in their favor at +25/-18 on the shot board but down 2-1 where it counts. Colin Wilson tied the game immediately in the 3rd period but the Oilers took control again and spent a lot of time shelling Varly before regulation ended.
Final tally was +56/-72, which is wicked high-event. The Avs were not able to suppress quality (High Danger Scoring Chances were +7/-15) or quantity. Shots on goal were 40-27 at 5v5 and 46-30 in all situations. Not good.
The PK stopped both chances they had, so that’s nice. The power play only got one try to see if the magic from Tuesday was just an illusion but couldn’t convert.
This game was more about who didn’t play rather than who did. For the record, Barrie, Nemeth and Girard played a ton and the top forwards were the usual guys.
– Nikita Zadorov was benched after a terrible error leading to the 2nd Oilers goal. Coach Bednar said afterwards it wasn’t all about that play and I believe him. Z’s minutes have been sliding south for a couple of weeks now and it’s time for yet another renaissance for the big man. With EJ out he needs to be much more than he has been.
– JT Compher got demoted to the 4th line (sort of) even before that awful 2nd goal and that sure didn’t help much. Same goes for Gabe Bourque who missed the assignment on Kassian, who put it in. Tyson Barrie was the only player out of the 5 on the ice for that goal that played much after. Bourque had 5 shifts, Compher 4, Yakupov 2 and Z of course had none.
– Mikko Rantanen saw diminished minutes in the 3rd, he was a big part of the Oilers 1st goal and had a few other marginal shifts so I would throw him under the bus with the rest of the passengers. He’s not been good lately and I’d like to believe there’s something nagging injury-wise to explain it. Whether it is an injury or just being unengaged, seeing him play at this level is troubling.
– I think that Carl Soderberg might have been near, but not in, the doghouse as well. He wasn’t missing shifts really but the switch with MacKinnon says something and his TOI was far below average.
– Getting back to Yakupov for a second, he played 9 shifts total for 6:46 and wasn’t involved with the PP once again. Ok, I get that he might be a longshot trade target for someone and I certainly hope the Avs can find a new home for him. This experiment needs to stop at the final horn in Calgary tomorrow. He’s a great guy and once in a blue moon does something productive but there’s no point in dressing him again this season. Not in the future plans and the 4th line is so much more usable with him in street clothes.
– Sam Girard had a goal, wait… a pretty sweet goal, and other than misplaying Draisaitl in OT had a solid defensive game. He’s had some inconsistent performances in the past couple weeks so this was good to see. If a game like this is what he turns out to be regularly, wow!
– Duncan Siemens has taken the opportunities given by the staff in the last 2 games and done a solid job. He and Patrik Nemeth were the primary PKers last night and held their own. He also matched Tuesday’s total with 3 shot attempts and had 6 of the Avs 31 hits. I wouldn’t say his usage was tough but he was tops on the team at +19/-17. Keep it up!
– Mack had an up and down night, that line struggled with McDavid at times and he found more success once JB got him away from there and put him with Comeau and Nieto. He still kicked ass in the shot department with 11 attempts, 5 scoring chances and 3 SOG.
– Tyson Jost moved up from the 4th, finally, when Compher was demoted and made the most of it. He set up Willie’s goal with a rare assist and was at home with the kind of minutes he got used to while Mack was out. Don’t put him back there.
– Varly gets a ton of credit for playing a fabulous game while half the team was mailing it in. Gotta love nights when you give up 3 and still have a .935 to show for it.
Burgundy Narrative Metric
– “Best guys being your best guys” gets an (even) sort of
– Corsi gets a (-) I guess the VAN game was an outlier unfortunately
– Power Play gets an (even) 0/1, oh well
– Turtle gets a (-) because they turtled for most of the game
– Varly% gets a (+) and a big thank you from me
– Referee Oppression Index gets a (+) Laissez faire, just how we like it
/ / / / / /
The Avs move to Calgary to finish off this grueling stretch of 13/16 on the road on Saturday afternoon.
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