Breaking Down: Avs/Coyotes, Game 68
The Avs moved back into playoff position with a 5-2 win over the Yotes Saturday and now get a couple days of badly needed rest. Arizona is not a fun team to play or watch, and I mean that in the least respectful way possible, so it’s good to get the season series over with. The only casualty was Jonathan Bernier, who had to leave mid-way through the 3rd with a “neck issue” which is usually code for something worse.
This was a pretty low-event affair thanks to a bunch of special teams time and the Avs taking a snooze in the 2nd period. Arizona stayed in it because of a 9-0 shot run late in the 1st period while the Avs shelled up with their early 3-1 lead. After going down 5-2 late in the 3rd the Coyotes resorted to troglodytic violence that did nothing to get them back in the game but the Avs were having none of it.
Final tally was even steven at 42. Scoring chances and shots ended up even too. Sounds pretty boring but the game itself was very entertaining minus the total drag 2nd period.
The PK were their usual 3-for-3 selves and the PP chipped in with a Tyson Jost goal in 5 opportunities. It’s still really inconsistent shift to shift but it’s effective at least. After bottoming out in the low 20’s on the endless road trip, they’re back to 14th in the league and the PK is still in the top 3.
The defensive regime went Barrie, Z, Nemeth, Girard, Warsofsky, Siemens at 5v5 with Nemo taking top honors in all situations thanks to PK time. Big Z was probably headed for top TOI before he was asked to leave after the Andrighetto/OEL altercation.
Top 6 forwards were Landy. Mikko, Mack, Compher, Sven, Nieto at 5v5 and Carl, Landy, Mikko, Mack, Nieto, Jost overall. The 4th line was predictably discarded in the 2nd period after a long shift ended with the Coyotes 2nd goal. Bourque played a terribly long (2:13!) PK into 5v5 shift after that then sat for the remainder of the night. Kerf got a PP shift late in the 3rd but that’s it and Yak was never seen again, ending up with a grand total of 4:37 for the match. If nothing else this highlights how effective Dominic Toninato has been and how awful it is having Yak in the lineup instead.
– Mack put up a couple of assists to give him 81 points in 60 games so far. He’s on pace for just short of 40 goals, just short of 60 assists and a total of 99.9 points. He’s got this.
– Mikko matched Nate’s 2 assists and added his 23rd goal of the season. He’s on pace to break 80 easily and has 3G/7A in his last 5 games.
– Sven Andrighetto is still looking for his first point since returning to the lineup but there’s no evidence better than yesterday that he’s an important guy to have. A few SOG, a couple of hits and blocks, good all around attitude and depth play. The OEL confrontation was the icing on the cake and one of the better moments of the season.
– Big Z again showed maturity in his game and personality. When AZ ramped up the physical play he was more than willing to match and made the Yotes think twice before stepping in front of his shot from the point. You can make the case that taking himself out of an important game was frivolous but the attitude that he and Sven and even Mack early in the game showed, that they have each others’ backs, is a welcome change from the past few years.
– The shine has come off of Duncan Siemens a bit lately but just wanted to note that despite some scratchy numbers yesterday, almost exclusively due to the aforementioned terrible shift with the 4th line, he’s doing what the staff are asking. Take that awful 54 seconds out and he was a + in Corsi and Shots For. Putting him back with Warsofsky seems to have helped a bunch. He and Anton Lindholm together just isn’t a good idea.
– The big downer of the day was Jonathan Bernier taking a shot off the head and ultimately having to leave with 12:33 to go. Varly’s been great for the most part while Bernie was out but he can’t play 4 games a week for the rest of the year. Getting him some rest is important but that’s probably not going to happen now.
Burgundy Narrative Metric
– “Best guys being your best guys” gets a (+) home sweet home
– Corsi gets a (+) hey, another bad team and another good performance
– Power Play gets a (+) for 7 goals in 7 games
– Turtle gets a (-) Turtle in the 1st period for the 2nd game in a row
– Varly% gets a (+) struck out the side in the 9th for the save
– Referee Oppression Index gets a (+) Tough game to manage as I’m sure every AZ game is
/ / / / / /
Another quick road trip this week in Minnesota on Tuesday and St Louis Thursday before facing the Preds at home on Friday.
Burgundy Rainbow Post-Game Show
Check out Vlad’s view from the Pepsi Center immediately following the game and don’t forget to subscribe to our channel if you dig it.
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