For one period at least, the Avs-wings hate came back and transformed an otherwise drab hockey game into something a little more. One goal was all they needed as Varly crafted his 24th NHL shutout but they added another for fun.
Mark Barberio was put on IR after Friday’s game with UBI. Tyson Barrie skated with the team on Sunday morning and took full-contact but was not deemed ready to play. Gabe Bourque slotted in for Vlad Kamenev on the 4th next to Alex Kerfoot who swapped the 2C spot over to JT Compher.
Scratch: Kamenev, Barrie (LBI)
Injured: Barbs (UBI)
The Avs looked very sluggish to begin the game which was not a good sign since they were the rested team. A good penalty kill near the end of the 1st got the ball rolling and they took a 12-2 run which ended with an extremely quick PP and goal. The wings pushed back but another solid 9-1 run put that notion to rest. The 3rd quickly devolved into violence and a bit of a late turtle but an ENG sealed the victory late.
Tale of the tape was +42/-38 at 5v5, shots on goal in all situations favored the Avs 29-24. The Avs controlled scoring chances both normal and routine although there were not many of either. Game pace 5v5 was an extremely slow 88 shots per hour.
Power play had yet another perfect evening, 1-for-1 in just 6 seconds. Efficient. They now have a significant lead on 2nd place Winnipeg for the top PP honors. The PK was also perfect at 2-2 and are darkening the door of the top 10 in the league once again.
Top 6 forwards at 5v5 were Mack, Landy, Mikko, then a massive 5+ minute gap to Calvert, Carl and Jost. In all situations it was the top line then Carl’s line. Gabe Bourque was low man at 5v5 but was 8th overall. Alex Kerfoot was low man overall at just under 11 minutes. Yes, he seems to be in the doghouse.
The defensive regime went EJ, Sam, Cole, Z, Nemeth then Alt at 5v5. In all situations it went EJ (29+), Cole (22min), Sam (21min), Big Z (20min), Nemeth (17min) and Alt (10min). Dressing Mark Alt is a colossal waste. No offense to him, he’s a solid AHL veteran, but he’s got no business playing in the NHL. These past 2 games were a perfect opportunity to give someone with a future in the organization a few shifts and items to work on back in Loveland so that down the road the staff will have better options. Now that chance has passed and the next time they need someone to fill in on D they’ll be in the exact same situation. Think!
Good morning Mikko. Pace always slows as the season progresses but he and Mack are still looking at 120+ points, which is insane. Mikko’s also on pace for more than 100 assists, if you want to be impressed look at the list of players with 100 assist seasons. It’s short and incredibly elite. The top line combined in two different ways for both goals last night, Mikko 2A, Mack and Landy with 1G/1A each.
– Jon Bernier did a pretty stellar job for the wings last night, although he wasn’t asked to do much. The fact that he wasn’t asked to do much is a little troubling. The wings are better than everyone thought but they still aren’t that great. Vlad Kamenev had a rough game against St Louis and the staff don’t like sitting guys indefinitely so it’s easy to see the thinking behind dressing Gabe Bourque. Along with dressing Mark Alt it made a difference in the lineup, and not a good one. You can see those two moves tipped the scales enough that the lack of talent on the ice made for a difficult evening for everyone. It’s nice to be able to grind out a win like this but without depth scoring the Avs become an average team again.
– Varly’s had a couple near-misses on shutouts so it’s great to see him (and the team mainly) be able to seal the deal. He deserved that one bigtime. Like Bernier he didn’t have to work hard but 24 out of 24 is a difficult task for anyone. Well done, sir.
Burgundy Narrative Metric
– “Best guys being your best guys” gets a (+) new month, same story: Rollin’
– Quality vs Quantity gets a (-) none of either
– Power Play Watchability gets a (+) 6 glorious seconds
– The Dreaded Turtle gets a (-) it wasn’t bad plus they other issues to deal with
– Starting Goalie Battle% gets a (+) Varly finally got his shutout
– Referee Oppression Index gets a (-) Any Tim Peel game is going to be an automatic shitshow but this went beyond the usual. Blowing off the instigator call on Mantha was pure idiocy. Sticking their heads in the sand while Matt Calvert was viciously assaulted by players on the bench was criminal. I don’t really care if the Avs follow up on this or not because what’s done is done, it won’t help them to have the wingys sanctioned and Tim Peel will still have a job no matter what. It’s just ridiculous that fans have to deal with poor officiating like that on a regular basis.
A rematch of Sid vs Nate tomorrow night in Pittsburgh.
Thanks as always to the NHL and Natural Stat Trick for numbers and visuals