What a night! For weeks we’ve been eyeing the game 82 matchup with St Louis, on the one hand hoping it wouldn’t have grave importance and on the other knowing it would inevitably decide who moves on and who cleans out their lockers. Avs fans were nervous from the past two weeks of struggles and the past ten years of disappointments. This team is officially different now. They roared out of the gate, played a confident 60 minutes and got the job done.
For me, the lasting memories of this game will be Sam Girard’s fist pump reaction after blasting in the first goal and Mikko Rantanen diving on the pigpile after Captain Gabe sealed it with the empty-netter. Both Girard and Landeskog were amazing and along with Jonathan Bernier made up the well-deserved 3 Stars of the Game.
Other than a couple of weak shifts in the middle, the Avs dominated the first period and set the tone for the game. Sam Girard’s goal with 46 seconds remaining was huge. Controlling the game was important but capitalizing on that brought it to another level. The teams traded power play goals in the middle of the 2nd (thanks NHL!) then Mack slipped another late period dagger in the Blues’ backs with a nasty 4v4 snipe. The Blues pushed back early in the 3rd but Bernie was strong. In desperation, the Blues pulled Jake Allen with 4:35 to go and outshot the Avs 9-2 in that stretch. Win!
Not that it matters but the final tally was +53/-45 and even better, scoring chances were +27/-16. Shots in all situations favored the Avs 39-34.
The Avs PK killed 2 out of 3 and ended the season as the 4th best unit in the league. At home they were the best giving up only 10 goals this season and a 91.7 percentage.
Tyson Barrie’s 7th PPG of the season was the Avs 65th and gave them a final percentage of 21.9, 8th best in the league. It was also the 39th PPG at home, which tied them with the Pens for tops in the NHL.
Bet you can’t guess who led the defense in non-special teams TOI. Pat yourself on the back if you guessed Mark Barberio. At 5v5 Sam Girard led by a bunch followed by Barbs/Nemeth, then Barrie/Z and Mark Alt had to make do with around 8 minutes.
Top 6 forwards were Mack’s line by a mile, then the Soderberg line. Kerfoot’s line didn’t play a ton but were very effective. The bench was short right off the bat so the guys on the 4th didn’t see the ice much but also did well with what they were given.
This was such a team experience and win that singling out anyone seems to trivialize the rest. Great job by everyone, even Hammond!
Burgundy Narrative Metric
– “Best guys being your best guys” gets a (+) Everyone stepped up and got it done
– Corsi gets a (+) and like 10 +’s for the 1st period
– Power Play gets a (+) Bet the Blues wouldn’t mind having Bennett back
– Turtle gets a (n/a)
– Varly% gets a (n/a) and Bernie was excellent
– Referee Oppression Index gets a (-) The irony of the Blues Captain bitching about losing an offside call isn’t lost on anyone.
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Burgundy Rainbow Post-Game from the Pepsi Center
Vlad was there, now you can feel like you were too!