Breaking Down: Avs/Knights, Pre-Season Game 1

Our beloved Avs looked a bit rusty last night while falling to Vegas 5-1. There were clearly two objectives running in parallel, get the vets a little game time as a season warm-up and observe youngsters. Coach Bednar confirmed this approach after the game and urged everyone not to take a lot out of what the vets did out there.

Projectile Lineup

Attack
Landy – Mack – Mikko
Calvert – Compher – O’Connor
Saigeon – Beaudin – Henry
Nantel – Dickinson – Barron

D
Cole – EJ
Geertsen – Barrie
Anderson – Graves

Gardiens
Varly
Martin

Scratch: Everyone else
Injured: Dosen’t matter yet

Saigeon and Nantel swapped spots for the 3rd, as did Graves and Geertsen
Spencer Martin played the 3rd period

Team Stats

This is meaningless but it’s pre-season for me too so lets dive into it anyway. Vegas dominated the entire game, even with some bigtime score effects. They were faster and more cohesive all night and this goes back to last season’s issues with teams like Vegas and Jersey giving the Avs fits because they always had the puck. No reason to panic about it but the staff need to have an answer for this style of play in a few weeks.

The chart mirrors the eye test. The Avs on their heels immediately then gradually able to counter, a bad 2nd period then score effect city in the 3rd. The 3rd was a bit odd, the Avs outshot the Knights 7-6 but were outchanced 8-2 and 5-1 from dangerous areas.

TOI

The forward regime at 5v5 was Mack’s line, then Compher’s, Beaudin’s and Dickinson’s just like on the lineup card. The PP units were Mack’s line plus Compher then Beaudin’s line plus O’Connor. Compher, Beaudin and O’Connor played both PP and PK

Tyson Barrie led the team in 5v5 TOI with over 20 minutes but everyone played a lot. Josh Anderson was the #6 with fifteen and a half minutes and over seventeen in all situations.

Again, nothing to read into here. A few times Altitude’s cameras would show the staff giving quick instruction to the youngsters after shifts so this was a lot of teaching and trying stuff more than highly competitive hockey.

Individual

Taking a sunnyside approach here, so a few guys that stood out positively in their first game for the Avs:

– Ryan Graves had a good game for the most part. I’ve done a 180 on this dude from last season when he was a nightmare for the Rampage after coming over in the Bigras trade. He was the only positive Corsi player on the team at +17/-14 and scored the lone goal. He honestly looks like a totally different player, great to see.

– Brandon Saigeon still doesn’t have a contract (that we know of) but he does keep impressing. Leading the rookie tournament with 5 goals was a great start and he backed that up last night. He won puck battles, developed scoring chances, won faceoffs, added some danger on the PP. When he swapped to Dickinson’s line for the 3rd they immediately got better, that’s a really positive sign.

– Logan O’Connor fit right in on the tryhard line with Compher and Calvert. He skates well and gets the puck to the net. Nothing came of it on the scoresheet of course and those guys got buried in the first 2 periods on the shot board but he’s doing exactly what coaches want to see.

– A year ago Josh Dickinson was moving from Junior A to his freshman season with Clarkson. Last night he wore an NHL sweater in a Pre-Season game so he’s come a long way quickly. We saw good instincts defensively, good details and once the staff put Saigeon on his wing we saw a little offense too. The Avs have plenty of time to round out his game and wait for some consistency but he’s got the potential to be a solid bottom 6 forward in the NHL if all goes well.

Next up

Pre-Season Game #2 happens Saturday at 6pm ET at Minnesota. Altitude declined to cover this one but it is on NHLN so feeds will be available.

Expect some cuts today, including a few of these fellows. The ice is down and painted in Loveland so Eagles Pre-Camp should be rolling soon. Their training camp begins officially on Monday.

 

Thanks as always to the NHL and Natural Stat Trick for numbers and visuals

earl06

Scoring LW, punchy climber for the Ardennes classics, spirit guide

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