Breaking Down: Avs/Bruins, Game #18

The Avs showed some resiliency for the first time in a while and picked up a comeback win over the Bruins on Wednesday night. It’s easy to see some of the momentum and positive energy returning to the lineup with a couple wins, now they need to sustain that and build on it.

Projectile Lineup

AJ Greer was re-assigned to the Eagles after the Edmonton game. Sven Andrighetto practiced full contact on Tuesday and could be activated for the upcoming road trip. JT Compher had his most promising practice since sustaining a concussion in the 5th game of the season. Hopefully he’s able to come out of protocol soon and participate in full. Mark Barberio took Patrik Nemeth’s place in the lineup.

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

Team Stats

I liked the start and it was a solid one for the second game in a row. Unfortunately it went downhill from there with a dumb penalty giving the B’s power play an easy goal and then a hideous turnover from Mack setting up a breakaway score to make it 2-1 at inters. The 2nd started no better with a bad penalty by Willie 200 ft from his own net that gave the B’s their 2nd PP and PPG of the night. This apparently woke the monster because from then on the Avs dominated. Great sustained pressure by the top line and others produced the first Colorado PP and PPG to get within 1. Zadorov immediately took a bad penalty (and got benched) which the Avs turned into the first successful kill for either side on the night. This 10-0 run in the mid-2nd set the tone for the rest of the game. The goals came fast and furious for the good guys in P3 and 5 unanswered led to a 6-3 victory.

Tale of the tape was +39/-32 at 5v5 with the +14/-5 second period where the heavy lifting was done on the shot board. Shots on goal overall were 25-23 for the Avs. Game pace was 92.8 Corsi events per hour, so low-event as usual. Very low-event. The killer was a 20-10 scoring chance advantage with 7-2 deemed high-danger. I’m not going to argue with the results here but they really need to up the shot pace at some point.

Power play was 3 for 3, which apparently ties an Avs record for perfect evenings. Two of those were in garbage time but they all count in the boxscore. The PK was overmatched and only stopped 1 out of 3.

TOI

The top 6 at 5v5 went Mikko, Mack, Landy, Jost, Soderberg, Calvert and in all situations it was the top line then Carl, Jost and Kerfoot. The top line stayed in the 15 minute range 5v5 which seems to be a sweet spot for wins. Vlad Kamenev was low man overall at 9:20 but had shifts on both special teams units. Sheldon Dries had just under 10 but no special teams so he looks like the candidate for healthy scratch when Sven returns.

The defensive regime went Cole, Sam, Barrie, EJ, Barbs, Z at 5v5 and Cole, EJ, Sam, Barrie, Barbs, Z overall. Big Z was benched after a bad penalty in the middle of the 2nd, among other things, and did not return. He ended up low man on the team at 7:22 overall.

Individual

All 3 guys on the top line had goals but Mikko was outta sight. He’s on pace for 132 points right now and could hit 100 points with 20 games to go in the season. Even with the usual 2nd half scoring drop he should have over a hundred easy. Stunning. He’s huge, handles the puck like he was 6′ 190# and might be the best player in the NHL right now. Plus he has his own theme song thanks to our good friend greger_jens.

– Along with Mikko there’s another young Avs star rolling up the charts. Alex Kerfoot might be flying under the MSHM radar so far but won’t for long. He has 8 points in 6 games in November, with 3 multi-point games including last night, and on pace for a 64 point season.

– Mark Barberio has not been consistent or effective so far this year, which is no surprise since he’s only played a handful of games. He had a bit of a rough go in the 1st with a bad penalty and was on the ice for the B’s 2nd PPG early in the 2nd. After that he settled in and played over 11 minutes out of the last 37. The coaching staff feel safe playing (or overplaying) Nemeth but from a risk-reward standpoint the team is better off having Barbs in the lineup more regularly. Let’s hope things trend that way.

– It’s never a good thing to see a player benched mid-game and this is not the first time we’ve seen it with Zadorov. Last year at this time we watched as he sat out 3 games in a row on coach’s decision. They expect a lot out of Z and should. They want him to be more than he is and there’s still a bunch of progress that needs to come from somewhere. On the first Boston PPG he wasn’t where he should have been, in front of Varly clearing out the two forwards camped out there. It was far from the only factor in the goal but it didn’t help and looked awful. Situations like that are his weakest area and limit how much PK time and time late in games he gets. The dumb penalty that get him benched was more of a last straw deal rather than a one big screwup deal in my opinion. Making a decision like that right after the team scores to get within a goal is extremely careless but forgiveable. Bottom line, they don’t want to see him doing either of those things and they still happen. This type of negative reinforcement worked last year but it remains to be seen whether it’s going to work again. It better.

 

Burgundy Narrative Metric

– “Best guys being your best guys” gets a (+) back on track
Quality vs Quantity gets a (+) now let’s get that pace up
– Power Play Watchability gets a (+) 3 for 3, nice job
The Dreaded Turtle gets a (-) underrated aspect of the night, no turtle
Starting Goalie Battle% gets a (0) not a great night for Varly but didn’t matter
Referee Oppression Index gets a (+) Refs got the job done with the requisite 6 calls, well done sirs.

Total: +2¾

Next up

The Stanley Cup Champs stop by the Pepsi Center on Friday night for a game that starts at a normal time for a change.

 

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

%d bloggers like this: