Breaking Down: Avs/Flames, Game #13

Although they dominated the game from start to finish the Flames bestowed a gift upon the Avs in the form of a terrible 2nd period by goalie Mike Smith. Instead of gladly accepting Colorado decided to return the favor with a no-show 3rd period and 2 well-earned points.

Projectile Lineup

Sven Andrighetto came up lame after the Wilds game and was put back on IR, week-to-week. The Avs called up Sheldon Dries again and added AJ Greer for the first time this year. Jost isn’t on IR but he did not travel to Canada with the team. Compher is still out indefinitely, he did practice once this week but the results were not promising. Mark Barberio played for the 2nd game in succession, he scored last time out so that’s probably the reason but Nemeth’s durability is always a question.

Scratch: Greer, Nemeth, Jost (Haut du Corps)
Injured: Andrighetto (LBI), Compher (Haut du Corps)

Team Stats

The Avs started off with a terrible power play then mailed it in for the entire 1st period getting outrun +8/-26 for the final 17 minutes. They were somewhat competitive in the 2nd period but high-danger chances went 8-2 to Calgary. On the scoreboard the Avs kicked ass 4-1 thanks to leaky goaltending at the red end. The 3rd period was a disaster. Shots on goal were pretty close but scoring chances and shot attempts told the story. The Avs never had the puck and when they did have it they just gave it back to the Flames.

Tale of the tape was +32/-59 and shots on goal were 37-26 Flames overall. Scoring chances were +17/-30 and +8/-19 high-danger. Every hallmark of lost control is there.

PP was 1-2 but that’s misleading since the goal came 6v4. PK was 3-4, so that was ok I guess. All in all special teams weren’t a factor.


Top 6 forwards at 5v5 were Mack, Landy, Mikko, then the usual gigantic gap down to Wilson, Kerfoot and Calvert. In all situations it was basically the same. Marko Dano was low man again at 6:48.

The defensive regime went EJ, Barrie, Sam, Z, Barbs and Cole at 5v5 and again basically the same in all situations. Ian Cole missed the final 23 minutes thanks to a hack call by the refs which couldn’t have gone better for Calgary.


– With the hype train out of control all week about the top line it was disappointing to see them get absolutely destroyed again by the Flames. They all ended up around 29% Corsi for, which was worst on the team and magnified since they play significantly more than any other forwards. Nathan MacKinnon’s frustration has been building for a while and this is not going to help. He was making awful decisions all night and playing like he was the only one out there. I’m not worried since he was mediocre for the first 20 games last year too but someone’s got to get his brain back on track soon.

– Two rookies got their first NHL goals, which is pretty sweet. Vlad Kamenev broke through on a shorthanded breakaway for the Avs first goal. Less than 2 minutes later Sheldon Dries tipped a puck that bounced around the crease and into the net. Dries later added an assist on an excellent seam pass to Colin Wilson. The staff and Avs management have to be pleased with Kamenev’s progression so far and Dries is like found money.

– Getting grouchy about roleplayers is a little silly but seeing guys like Kamenev and Dries find success raises questions about some personnel and deployment issues so far. It’s time to call the Marko Dano claim a failure and move on. He’s been given the opportunity to show what he’s got and it’s not much. Coach Bednar doesn’t like playing him so unless the Avs need a guy to sit in the press box and do nothing his value to the team is nil. Last night he was a +2/-12 in less than 7 minutes of ice time, not good enough.

Matt Calvert has been overplayed ever since he was moved to the Soderberg line and if he adds anything over replacement value for a 4th liner I’m not seeing it. This looked like a really bad signing in July and it’s even worse now. His shot metrics aren’t bad but he’s produced one assist so far at 5v5 playing 5th most minutes. That’s major passenger territory. The infuriating issue is the constant turnovers and inability to complete a pass anywhere on the ice. It’s hard enough for Carl Soderberg to produce any offense while flanked by a couple of 4th liners, when one of them makes it difficult to move the puck forward at all it’s damn near impossible.

– Varly had the first truly bad game of the season so far, and really it was only one period. That’s a little troubling but asking him to overcome systemic and personnel failures seems to have taken it’s toll. He can carry this team, and has so far, but don’t make it an imperative every night.

Burgundy Narrative Metric

– “Best guys being your best guys” gets a (-) Trash game for the stars
Quality vs Quantity gets a (-) Quality was mediocre, quantity was non-existent
– Power Play Watchability gets a (-) Got one on the scoresheet but it was fake
The Dreaded Turtle gets a (+) They wanted to but couldn’t even execute that
Starting Goalie Battle% gets a (-) Varly was bad in the 3rd
Referee Oppression Index gets a (-) For the second game in a row a bad call by the officials has had a major effect on the outcome of the game. The phantom call on Z was the culprit vs Minny and last night an overreaction to a big hit by Ian Cole was the beginning of the end. Was it a charge? Probably, but it sure wasn’t a major and no reason he should have gotten a misconduct. It’s not like there weren’t several other hits exactly like it during the course of the game.

Total: -5¾

Next up

Avs take on the Canucks tonight at 10pm ET/8pm MT, let’s call this one important.


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


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

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