Breaking Down: Avs/Blues, Game #32

The Avs managed to throw away a victory in a game they dominated for long stretches thanks to issues that have become common this December. Whether this is system or personnel related remains to be seen but either way it looks like a quick fix isn’t on the horizon.

Projectile Lineup

The only lineup change was Grubauer in for Varlamov. It doesn’t sound like they have a handle on Kerf’s issue yet although it doesn’t seem serious. That leaves the team with no viable subs at forward or defense so maybe they need to think about fixing that instead of trying to slide by with what they have.

Scratch: Alt, Kerf (UBI)
Injured: Barberio (UBI), Kamenev (UBI)

Team Stats

A slow start and poor puck management led to a quick goal by the opponent. Nice job everyone. Luckily that woke them up and they started rolling. Sven was on the warpath and he tied it soon after then Calvert put them ahead on a really bad goal against Jake Allen. A truly awful 4-minute power play killed all momentum and the Blues capitalized on bad defense to tie it going to intermission. Despite a couple of soft calls against the Avs early in the 2nd they grabbed momentum with a strong 15-5 run for most of the period. So, domination plus 2 PPs equaled nothing on the scoreboard and that would haunt them. St Louis took control of the 3rd, ultimately drawing a penalty on an optimistic line change and taking the lead. Avs got that back right away then turtled to get the loser point. Why? I have no idea, they couldn’t beat an ECHL team in OT at this point. Tyson Barrie lost the game with a predictable and rock stupid play on an OT PP and away we go.

Tale of the tape was +49/-45 at 5v5 and shots on goal in all situations were an overwhelming 42-28. They dominated in just about every way, including horrifying turnovers. Game pace at 5v5 was a rousing 128 shots per hour.

Power play went 1 for 6 and sits at 29%, 3rd in the NHL. They also gave up the winning goal. The PK technically stopped all 3 STL chances but for the 2nd game in a row they were scored upon within 5 seconds of a penalty expiring. They moved from 21st to 18th in the league but still not great.

TOI

Top 6 forwards at 5v5 were Mack, Mikko, Landy, then a 5 minute gap down to Carl, Nieto and Calvert. In all situations it was the same deal with Compher in Calvert’s place. Gabe Bourque was low man at 5v5 and AJ Greer overall.

The defensive regime went Cole, EJ, Barrie, Z, Nemeth, Sam at 5v5 and it was Barrie, Cole, EJ, Sam, Nemeth, Z in all situations. Nolan Pratt is being incredibly stubborn with guys that aren’t getting it done over the last 6 games. Maybe he should try using guys that are getting it done for a change. Just a thought.

Individual

Screw being positive here, this was a really bad outcome and shouldn’t have happened.

– At 5v5 the top line had 18 shot attempts, 15 shots on goal an none went in the net. Against Jake Allen. You’ll have that but it doesn’t make a loss like this easy to swallow. They did a lot of things right offensively except the one that matters. Defensively they were on ice for two goals against including the game-winner. On 8 shots on goal. That hurts.

– Tyson Barrie had a prototypical bad game, including the tragic shot into the shinpads that sprung O’Reilly for the GWG, which was completely unsurprising. You take the bad with the good from Barrie and he’s been in a rough stretch since returning from injury.

– It’s not a big deal really but the 4th line was awful. Colin Wilson is over his head at center and it’s just a tough situation that he’s being asked to cover that role temporarily with Kerfoot and Kamenev out. I realize it’s pretty pointless to hurt one of your higher lines just to have a true C on the bottom line but when you see a bunch of ineffective shifts and have to fold up to 3 lines for the evening on a back to back then there’s a lot of repercussions. Now everyone’s worked going into tonight’s game and there still isn’t a solution. Bourque is what he is but the goal is to get a young player like Greer comfortable enough that he can carry some minutes for the team and this isn’t a great way to develop that.

– Grubi had a decent game with a couple he’d like to have back. When the team isn’t scoring in front of him those get magnified. With Varly struggling too it’s not easy to have confidence in the tendys right now.

– I’ve never seen Coach Bednar as angry as he was after this game. He openly criticized the play of the top guys, especially late in OT when they had the puck and a Blues player without a stick and couldn’t develop anything close to a scoring chance. The final PP was even worse and he called out Tyson Barrie’s decision to shoot right at a defender as the blunder that finally lost the game. Rightly so, it was an indefensible decision from a guy that makes that same mistake dozens of times every year. Sometimes the other goalie has your number but to give a point away like that after having a massive advantage for most of a game drives everyone nuts. This isn’t last season when the expectations were low and the team was learning how to win, situations like that have to be closed out with a win.

Burgundy Narrative Metric

– “Best guys being your best guys” gets a (-) shit sandwich
Quality vs Quantity gets a (+) nice quantity and quality
– Power Play Watchability gets a (-) unbelievably bad
The Dreaded Turtle gets a (-) turtling for a loser point is lame
Starting Goalie Battle% gets a (0) mediocre performance from Grubi
Referee Oppression Index gets a (+) I’d like to know what in the world those fellows were thinking when Brayden Schenn was sitting on JT Compher for 20 seconds. Looked like interference to me. The hilarious penalty on Tarasenko for using Parayko’s stick was good though.

Total: -3¾

Next up

Back at it tonight at home vs Dallas.

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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