Breaking Down: Avs/Ducks, Game #20

The Ducks did Duck things all game, ugly but effective against the Avs. The guys had to scratch and claw through a cloggy collapsing D scheme just to tie in regulation and pulled off a miracle win with an OT blast from Mikko just before the final horn.

Projectile Lineup

Big Z returned to the lineup after 1½ games of inactivity. Matt Nieto’s nagging LBI had him in street clothes once again, Marko Dano took his spot. Colin Wilson now has LBI as well and Sven Andrighetto played on the Kerf line in his place. Grubi got a 2nd start in a row after an ok performance vs the Caps on Friday.

Scratch: Barbs, Nieto (LBI), Wilson (LBI)
Injured: Compher (Haut du Corps)

Team Stats

The Avs started with a few decent possession shifts but a soft goal by Anaheim meant an immediate turtle and a soporific 1st period. The 2nd opened with a promising tying goal from Sven10 but another silly Zadorov penalty immediately after gave the Duck a PPG then another softie to make it 3-1. The staff stuck with Grubi anyway which turned out to be the right call because he shut the door after. The Avs went on a nice long run for the rest of the 2nd and got within 1 on the shoulders of Nathan MacKinnon’s PPG. The 3rd started slow and the idiot refs decided to give Anaheim yet another gift call but the PK was up to the task. From there the Avs went on a 9-0 run and tied the game on another Mack shot that appeared to have grazed Landy’s calf. No one felt confident going to OT with the Avs pathetic record but they just managed to pull off the win with a PP 15 seconds from the horn and Mikko’s goal 13 seconds later. Whew, that was close.

Tale of the tape was a +69/-44 (61%) and shots on goal 42-33 in all situations. As bad as the Avs are at shot generation and share, Anaheim is several orders of magnitude worse. Scoring chances ended up +36/-20 at 5v5 with a whopping +21/-9 mark in P2. Oddly enough, high danger chances were pretty even which sheds a little light on how these teams play overall.

PP was 2/2 including the GWG at the end, no thanks to the awful officiating crew. PK was 2/3, killing both after a bad 1st session. You probably won’t believe this but the Avs PP is 2nd in the NHL behind Winnipeg at just over 30%. PK has plummeted to 17th at just under 80%.


Top 6 forwards were Mack, Landy, Mikko, then a 6 minute gap to Calvert, Soderberg and Jost at 5v5. In all situations it was much the same. Marko Dano was low man at 6:20, more than 2 minutes behind Vlad Kamenev in 11th.

The defensive regime at 5v5 went Cole, EJ, Barrie, Sam, then a huge 7+ minute gap to Z and Nemeth. Same deal overall with EJ over 25 minutes, Cole and Barrie over 24, Sam at 21:20 then Z/Nemo in the 13-14 minute range. The top 4 guys all played around 30 shifts and he 3rd pair made do with 19 each.


 – A goal and 2 assists for both Mikko and Mack and one of each for Captain Gabe. They combined for 15 out of the 42 shots on goal too. Mikko leads the NHL in assists and Mack/Landy are tied for 4th in goals with 13. Tyson Barrie’s 17 points (0.85/gm) may seem paltry by comparison but he’s 6th in defenseman scoring right now.

– Vlad Kamenev continues to get praise and encouragement from Jared Bednar. They’re bringing him along slowly and putting him in various situations to gain experience. He got a couple shifts on the Soderberg line in P3 and looked far from out of place. Point production and shot metrics are still underwhelming but developing trust is more important as far as heading up the depth chart.

– In today’s episode of why Matt Calvert is terrible  we’re going to look at shift length. Calvert’s first shift of the night lasted 1:44. I understand it’s tough to get off the ice when you keep making soft clears and hideous turnovers but his linemates were able to escape somehow, yet as the wing on the same side as the bench he was not. Once again early in the 2nd he took a 1:20 shift while the Avs had possession in the Duck zone. His linemates got off the ice for 2/3rds of the top line but meanwhile he wouldn’t leave which meant that Mikko Rantanen was sitting on the bench during a great offensive cycle. 10 minutes later the whole Soderberg line was caught out again for 1:30 and it happened mid-3rd period for 66 seconds as well. Long shifts are the hallmark of a bad forward and rookies that won’t get off the ice are generally taken off by coach’s decision. It’s bad enough that the staff willingly give Calvert 2nd line TOI but when he extends that with marathon shifts to become the top forward behind Mack’s line then there’s a huge problem.

– It was nice to see Grubauer settle down in the 2nd half of the game and battle for the win. This is what we’ve been hoping for since he was acquired over the summer. The first 25 minutes of the game were disappointing however. It’s taking time for him to fit in to the Avs system but they can’t have games like that against weak opponents with where they are in the standings.

Burgundy Narrative Metric

– “Best guys being your best guys” gets a (+) They sure don’t stay quiet for long
Quality vs Quantity gets a (+) the Duck factor meant plenty of quantity but not quality
– Power Play Watchability gets a (+) 2nd perfect night in less than a week
The Dreaded Turtle gets a (+) Anaheim’s 50+ minute turtle was stunning
Starting Goalie Battle% gets a (-) Overall Grubi was ok but an alarming 3 goals
Referee Oppression Index gets a (+) This officiating crew historically favored the Duck and that’s exactly what we saw. Shit job overall. Random penalties on one side only and linesmen that flat out refused to drop the puck. These guys don’t even deserve to ref Bantam house league games.

Total: +2¾

Next up

A 3 day break in sunny Southern California before taking on the worst team in hockey on Wednesday night.


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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