I like writing these articles the morning after the game for several reasons. First there’s more time, second there’s more information available but most of all I can avoid instant emotional hot taek reactions. Avs fans mood after the game was gloomy and angry and the assignation of blame was rampant. That’s to be expected and there’s plenty of blame to go around. Let’s see what we can dig out of this match from a disinterested perspective.
The Avs still sit at 90 points, one back of all 3 other teams involved in the chase with only St Louis having a game in hand. At this point Anaheim is the most vulnerable to dropping out and the Avs hold the ROW tiebreaker. While going 1-3-0 over the past week is alarming and totally not clutch, they are far from out of the picture. There are 5 games left, the job is to gain one or more points on the Duck and they play on Sunday night.
The game opened pretty back/forth then Philly got some major zone time and scored an unstoppable goal on a pretty royal road pass. This seemed to wake up the Avs for a bit and they responded with a 11-1 shot run before the Flyers took control again and capitalized on a soft shot from the point. The next 25 minutes were choppy and marred by penalties. With 10 minutes left the Flyers started to turtle and the Avs poured it on, going on a 29-1 run to end the game but somehow not producing a goal.
I’m not sure about whoever was counting scoring chances at Pepsi Center last night but they had the Avs with 46 in all situations last night, 22 in the 3rd period alone. Philly blocked 33 shots, 15 of those happened in the 3rd too. The last 9:43 of the game go far beyond turtle, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen something like this. The Avs had nearly 3 shot attempts per minute or a 179 CF/60 rate. That said, very few were dangerous and only 7 actually hit the net.
The Avs are generally too choosy when it comes to shot attempts but this went the other way to the extreme. Anecdotally, I saw time and time again they were shooting from horrible angles or looking for point shots that had no hope of making it to the net, which is exactly what Philly would have been hoping for. Two things about this team that drive me batshit crazy over the entire year are setting up for ineffective point shots and constantly passing the puck backwards instead of forwards. Both are massive wastes of time and effort. The Avs can be so dangerous when they play aggressively, it boggles the mind why they fall into these types of passive strategies on a regular basis.
The defensive regime went Barrie, EJ, Big Z, Nemeth, Girard, Alt 5v5 with Girard edging past Nemo in all situations. Interesting PK usage too, Z and EJ were tops followed by Alt then Nemeth with only 1:05. That’s a big change.
The top 6 forwards were Mikko, Landy, Mack, Kerf, Jost, Compher at 5v5 and pretty much the same overall. Coach Bednar is now treating the frat line as the 2nd line and Carl’s as the 3rd consistently.
I have a feeling that Carl is still feeling the effects of the flu or whatever is making the rounds and that quite a few others have been playing sick over the past week. Nemeth not being on the top PK unit and Soderberg only getting 12:18 overall are clues here. Mack has looked pretty bad over the past week and I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s living on IV’s once the public leaves the locker room.
– The top line had 26 shot attempts, 12 of which hit the net and 0 went in. The pressure has been there but the danger hasn’t.
– Shoutout to Dom Toninato for an assist, his 2nd of the year. I have no idea why some people focus on his lack of production as a rookie learning the game at the NHL level, and on the 4th line to boot, so take that.
– Andrew Hammond has had a really weird season. Acquired in the Duchene trade in November, he’s been seen various times as a backup but only played his first game for the Avalanche organization last weekend in San Antonio. Thrown into a high-pressure situation last night for his first NHL action in over 13 months, he struggled a bit in P1 but shut the door after that. I can’t imagine how you could ask for more. Yeah, Provorov’s goal was bad but 2 goals against on 33 shots is fantastic. Too bad the Avs couldn’t pick him up and get the win.
Burgundy Narrative Metric
– “Best guys being your best guys” gets a (-) time to step up, fellows
– Corsi gets a (+) although score effects helped a bunch
– Power Play gets a (-) crapola
– Turtle gets a (+) but Philly’s was something to behold
– Varly% gets a (n/a) but the Hamburglar% was stout
– Referee Oppression Index gets a (+) Carl Soderberg’s interference penalty was asinine. Why you make a soft call like that in the 3rd period of a tight game is beyond me.
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I guess the Hawks game Friday is pretty important now
Burgundy Rainbow Post-Game from the Pepsi Center
Vlad didn’t have to fly back and forth to Vegas in the space of 19 hours for this one but it’s still good stuff. Also check out the catalogue of fine prospect vids at our YouTube channel