The dreaded winged wheels came to town looking for their 10th straight loss and left with just that. After big wins against Minnesota and St Louis and a strong performance vs Nashville this could have been a letdown, not this year. They scored a bunch of goals, snoozed for a bit, scored some more then cruised to the 5-1 win.
The Avs scored right off the bat then went on a 16-8 shot run for the rest of the period, adding another goal and controlling play handily. The 2nd period was a tire fire with the wings developing large amounts of non-dangerous scoring chances but the final result was the same 2-goal lead for the Avs despite a +15/-22 mark on the shot board. The 3rd was garbage time after Nathan MacKinnon’s bank shot off Jonathan Ericsson’s stick. Tyson Barrie added a PPG to keep his point streak intact and give him 50 points on the season and that’s all she wrote.
Final tally was +45/-51 but 51% taking out score effects. Scoring chances were more or less even 26 to 27 so even with detroit dominating stretches the Avs had this one from the opening puck drop.
The PK was perfect at 3/3 and the power play was inconsistent but Barrie’s goal made it 1 for 4.
The defensive regime at 5v5 went Barrie, Zadorov, Nemeth, Johnson then a gap to Girard and Warsofsky. In all situations it was much the same with EJ and Nemeth swapping places from PK time. Wars was low man but at 13:29 he played quite a bit more than Duncan Siemens had been i the last few games.
Top 6 forwards were Landy, Comeau, Mack, Mikko, Soderberg, Jost 5v5 and Carl, Landy, Mack, Mikko, Comeau, Jost overall. No forward broke the 20 minute barrier, this was a pretty even game for ice time overall. Low man was Vlad Kamenev at just over 10 minutes
– The Avs had a surprise for us just before game time, Erik Johnson was back in the lineup after missing only 4 weeks with UBI. He eased in gradually by smashing into a bunch of people on his first shift and went from there. Ended up with just short of 20 minutes with 3 minutes PK time and a minute on the PP even. In hindsight this was a great game to get back into the swing of things, he got to play all situations but didn’t have to be overused. His self-evaluation after was that he was a little rusty but you couldn’t prove it by me.
– Another surprise, albeit less so, was Vladislav Kamenev making his re-debut after spending the last 4 months rehabbing a badly broken arm. The numbers weren’t pretty, adding little and giving up a lot, but there’s plenty of room to move up from there. Whether this was his first game or his 70th, the 4th line as constructed was a disaster and he couldn’t save it. Throwing your PK specialist and your PP specialist together with a highly touted but inexperienced rookie doesn’t seem like any kind of line I’d like to see again.
– Mack scored a couple of circus goals while adding an assist for his 89th point of the season. This now qualifies as the 10th best point output in Avalanche history with 10 games left to play. Let’s hope the East coast media can hear the MVP chants from the Pepsi Center as they consider their Hart Trophy votes.
– Mikko grabbed a couple of assists to get to 77 points on the campaign, this now qualifies as the 24th best point output in Avalanche history. Don’t lose sight of how special this season has been for Mikko just because Nate’s blowing the league out of the water. The consistency and sheer volume of production is astounding for a 21 year old right wing in the NHL.
– Fans are quick to criticize Captain Gabe for some reason and it’s utterly confounding. Besides all his regular duties cleaning up messes outside of the offensive zone he’s been on a tear lately with 7 points in his last 3 games and 11 in his last 10. He should end up with a goal total in the mid-20’s and points in the mid-60’s, close to or perhaps even better than his career highs from the miracle season of 2014.
– Tyson Barrie scored his 11th goal of the season to give him 50 points for the 2nd time in his career. It also kept alive a 10-game point streak. He’s now tied for 10th in points for defenseman and first in points per game at 0.86. Half of his points have come on the power play where he’s 3rd among defenseman in scoring. He should easily pass his career high of 53 points in the next 10 games. He too is having a pretty special year.
– Varly had another 97% night with the only blemish coming from the usual mayhem when the staff stubbornly put the 4th line and 3rd pair on the ice together.
Burgundy Narrative Metric
– “Best guys being your best guys” gets a (+) and a wow
– Corsi gets a (+) for defying the eye test
– Power Play gets a (+) I guess, still not pretty to look at yesterday
– Turtle gets a (-) for an apathy turtle
– Varly% gets a (+) for another quality start
– Referee Oppression Index gets a (+) for throwing Abdelkader out for being a tool
/ / / / / /
The Avs head to Chicago to play America’s Team on Tuesday night
Burgundy Rainbow Post-Game from the Pepsi Center