After a discouraging start the Avs woke up and smacked the Hawks JV team around to the tune of 5-0. It was a game they had to have after getting shut down hard for the last 4 contests and this time it finally happened. Despite losing Erik Johnson in warmups and Semyon Varlamov late in the 3rd, Colorado has to feel re-energized and confident going into Sunday night’s game vs Anaheim.
With less than 2 weeks to go in the season the Avs still control their own destiny to a point. There are 4 teams in the West battling for 3 spots and the Avs play all 3 teams they are currently looking up to over the next 8 days. If they win all 3 they will end up with 98 (or 100) points while the Duck have a max of 99, LA will max at 98 and St Louis maxes at 100. Colorado will be going for the season sweep vs ANA, the Kings have beaten them twice but the Avs forced OT in one of those, and the Blues have taken 3 out of 4 but lost the most recent matchup. #Clenchy
Most of the 1st period was pretty scruffy with the Hawks dominating shots 22-8 until the Avs clawed back with an 8-shot run ending with Gabe Landeskog drawing a call on a semi-breakaway. Sven Andrighetto took matters into his own hands and scored on a completely individual effort. Momentum was largely positive in the 2nd with another PPG, this time from TB4. The first half of the 3rd was all Colorado with Mikko blasting in the 3rd PPG of the night and Tyson Jost scoring at even strength. After a bit of a turtle, Sven put the game to bed with another superb individual effort.
Final tally was +47/-51, which by the way is pretty low-event for the Hawks, but just over 50% for the Avs when score adjusted. Throw out the malaise in the 1st 15 minutes and they dominated the rest
The power play was effective and a perfect 3-for-3, I saw a lot more player and puck movement than in the previous few games. Jared Bednar’s comments after the Philly loss were taken to heart, good adjustment. The PK was perfect in that they had no penalties to kill.
The defensive regime went Big Z, Barrie, Girard, Nemeth, Warsofsky, Alt at 5v5 with Barrie/Z swapping places due to PP time. Mark Alt played 14:35 in what has to be one of the highest TOIs of the season for the 6th defenseman. It’s also worth noting that with EJ out the pairs were fairly rigid – Z/TB4, Nemeth/Sam, Wars/Alt.
The top 6 forwards were Landy, Carl, Sven, Mack, Comeau, Kerf at 5v5 and Mack, Sven, Landy, Mikko, Kerf in all situations. No forward played as much as 18 minutes and Gabe Bourque trailed the field with almost 12 minutes. The staff were rolling 4 pretty consistently thanks to score effects.
The main outlier was Tyson Jost, who struggled most of the game like he has for the past couple of weeks. He sat for a couple of shifts in the 2nd period then came back to finish off a wonderful 3v1 in the 3rd. He ended up 11th in forward TOI at 12:22.
– Just because it’s Saturday and there’s plenty of time, I took a look at the D’s individual corsi events per 60 at 5v5:
- Barrie (44% CF): 169
- Zadorov (46% CF): 157
- Girard (56% CF) 115
- Nemeth (52% CF): 100
- Alt (41% CF): 91
- Warsofsky (54% CF): 84
Barrie has always been a high-event player and Z is one that you don’t think about as such, but is. Those guys went total firewagon and honestly that’s not that positive. Sam & Nemo hit the sweet spot, both comfortably over 50% CF and a high enough pace that good things still happened. Warsofsky and Alt were ok together at +8/-11 but Wars benefited from a couple shifts with Girard to go from plus to minus.
– It’s nice to be able to talk about the top line producing again so let’s enjoy. Mack had an assist to get on 93 points. Mikko had a goal and assist to reach 82 for the season. Gabe chipped in with an assist to hit 58. All 3 had been blanked for the past 3 games so here’s to breaking slumps.
– Sven Andrighetto scored a pair of terrific goals on individual efforts, his first in over 3 months. Aside from that, he and Kerfoot carried the frat line all night. He’s missed so much time this season it’s easy to forget that he has the ability to roll like that. Great to see all the hard work coming back pay off.
– Varly had 9/10ths of a shutout with the injury late in the 3rd although he owes Mack and Barrie for playing 2nd goalie on a couple of occasions.
– What’s pretty amazing about this team is the ability to play at a high level despite missing top players. Oh, EJ’s out? We’ll just shellac everyone anyway. After the season we need to contemplate why last year’s team folded when EJ and Varly went down and yet this year’s team can still thrive with the same issue.
Burgundy Narrative Metric
– “Best guys being your best guys” gets a (+) Welcome back
– Corsi gets a (+) thanks to score effects
– Power Play gets a (+) How ’bout some consistency, yes?
– Turtle gets a (-) but up 4-0 who cares
– Varly% gets a (+) with Bernie getting the save in the 9th
– Referee Oppression Index gets a (-) Other than the liney taking out Mack I barely noticed them. In a Tim Peel joint that’s faboo.
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Anaheim on the road looms as the key to the season on Sunday night
Burgundy Rainbow Post-Game from the Pepsi Center
Vlad had good stuff to talk about for a change! Also check out the catalogue of fine prospect vids at our YouTube channel