After a tough start and a quick goal against the Avs hung with the best team in the Western Conference up until crunch time and scrounged a point. If someone told me yesterday morning that Colorado would leave the Pepsi Center with an overtime loss I would have been ecstatic, but that’s not the feeling most of us had after the game. A couple of breakdowns in a short period of time were a total bummer.
Nashville took control of the game right off the bat and went on strong 5-0 shot run ending with a goal against the Avs 4th line and 3rd pair. That’s not a great matchup and probably shouldn’t have happened but even so it took a shot bouncing off of Anton Lindholm’s belly for the Preds to capitalize. The rest of the game was pretty back and forth until the final 2:30. At that point the Avs reverted to the old collapse-o-rama and Nashville went on a vicious 6-0 run that tied the game and sent it to OT.
Final numbers are +44/-50 thanks to that run at the end but across the board the Avs were close or better in a few areas. Scoring chances they were +17/-16 overall and +8/-7 in high-danger.
The PK killed 2 out of 3 chances with a Tim Wakefield knuckler fluttering past Varly in the 2nd period the only blemish. The PP came through with the go-ahead score, an emotional blast from Mikko with around 5 minutes remaining, and was 1 for 4 on the afternoon.
The defensive regime was Big Z, Barrie, Nemeth, Girard, Lindholm, Siemens at 5v5 with Barrie and Z swapping thanks to PP time. Duncan was low man at 11:27 with 3:22 of PK time, 2nd only to Nemeth.
The top 6 forwards were Landy, Mack, Mikko, Comeau, Carl, Nieto at 5v5 and more or less the same in all situations except for Tyson Jost slotting in for Nieto thanks to PP time. We are getting back to a noticeable gap in usage between the top 6 and bottom 6, which goes along with the playoff push that the Avs are on. I do worry that the younger players are disappearing, outside of Jost on the power play, and having Nail Yakupov in the lineup limits how the staff can use the lower lines. It’s great that they can ride the Mack line and Carl’s line so much but letting the depth scoring from Kerfoot and Compher atrophy to the point where it’s a non-factor might hurt the team long-term.
– Mack and Mikko kept pace with Mikko scoring his 22nd goal and Mack getting his 46th assist on the play. They’re good.
– Nikita Zadorov scored his 2nd goal of the week and his 6th of the year on a breakaway slapshot. Remember when he was getting benched last week? Much better now.
– Matt Nieto “scored” his 3rd goal in 3 games when Kevin Fiala knocked the puck past Rinne for the Avs 2nd goal. He’s been hit or miss though, he had a 7 game drought going back to a goal vs Buffalo then a 10 game drought before that going back to his last assist, which was on January 18th. His contributions on the ice go beyond scoring but you can’t help but wonder if there are better options on that line.
– Carl Soderberg had a very strong game. He got an assist on Big Z’s breakaway goal after a massive singlehanded effort on a zone exit. So much he did yesterday are details that don’t show up in the box score but are crucial in big games against tough opponents.
– Safe to say no one was impressed with Varly’s game. Of the 4 goals against yesterday at least 2 are ones he probably should have had and the overtime goal was unforgiveable. Since Bernier was injured he’s started and finished all 8 games and earned a 4-2-2 record and an .898 Sv%. Yesterday was a big test for the Avs and they passed for the most part but Varly didn’t. Maybe it was just a random bad outing but the weight of the game magnifies the narrative that he wilts under pressure. Not a big deal right now but sooner or later the Avs are going to be in a position where they need a goalie that can win high pressure games. No one is sure that’s Varly at this point.
Burgundy Narrative Metric
– “Best guys being your best guys” gets a (+) with one exception
– Corsi gets a (-) 57.5 minutes is different from 60
– Power Play gets a (+) we love clutch goals
– Turtle gets a (-) and it was a symptom of a larger problem closing out games
– Varly% gets a (-) not what the needed
– Referee Oppression Index gets a (+) Let the teams play in a playoffy game. Didn’t like a couple calls but they made up for them. Well done, sirs.
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The show hits the road in Chicago and Columbus this week
Burgundy Rainbow Post-Game Show from the Pepsi Center
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