Breaking Down: Avs/Preds, Game #49

Great effort from the Avs, especially early on, but no result. Very common occurrence for the last couple of months.

Projectile Lineup

Erik Johnson is in concussion protocol and is expected to return after the break. Mark Barberio slotted back in on defense. Dominic Toninato and Anton Lindholm were called up from the Eagles but did not dress. Varly started his 6th game in a row.

Scratch: Lindholm, Toninato, Johnson (concussion)
Injured: Kamenev (shoulder)

Team Stats

Like we saw against Winnipeg, Calgary and Toronto, the Avs straight up dominated a playoff team on the shot board all night. The first started out fast and physical then the Avs had a couple of decent, but fruitless, power plays. After a push back from Nashville they took over again for the rest of the 1st. The Avs had to kill off a couple of bullshit penalties to start the 2nd then forgot how to play defense and stop pucks for a couple minutes so Nashville could build a 2-0 lead and play clog the rest of the night. Despite the clog the good guys went on a nice 14-1 run ending with Girard feeding Kerfoot for the lone Avs goal. Nashville got it right back. The 3rd was boring and cloggy and the Avs dominated everywhere but on the scoreboard.

Tale of the tape at 5v5 was a +54/-27 or exactly 2:1 and shots on goal in all situations were 36-27. Hello Colorina Avacanes. Shot pace at 5v5 was a fairly pedestrian 111 per hour.

Power play was 0/4, no help there, and the PK killed all 3 chances.


Top 6 forwards were Mikko, Mack, Landy, Carl, Wilson, Compher with very top-heavy usage. The 4th line couldn’t crack 9 minutes of ice time and Dries and Bourque didn’t even hit 6 minutes 5v5.

The defensive regime went Sam, Barrie, Cole, Z then a big gap down to Nemeth and Barberio. In all situations it went Barrie (23+), Cole (23), Sam (20), Nemeth (17), Z (17), and Barbs (12).


– With EJ out the new top pairing of Sam Girard and Ian Cole were pretty effective. They didn’t actually play together all that much but both ended up very positive on the shot board, Cole at +30/-9 and Sam at +24/-7. Together they were +10/-3 in a little under 6 minutes. I wasn’t that wild about Cole’s strategy on Arvidsson’s wraparound, he sprayed Varly and interfered with him slightly making it difficult to get across but you’ll have that. Sam had a wonderful setup on the Avs only goal.

– Nikita Zadorov has played fantastic since coming back from a LBI issue, until this game. His errant pass set up the first goal and didn’t play the pass on the the 2v1 that produced the 3rd. Just a reminder that he’s still only 23 and consistency can be elusive.

– I’m going to take the contrarian view and stick up for Varly a bit here. The first goal ok, that was bad. Real bad, but no worse than the screwup that led to it. The 2nd goal was a wraparound which shouldn’t happen in the NHL in this day and age but Arvidsson was going warp 9 and Cole could have played it a little better. The 3rd goal was a blown 2v1 which gave him little chance. The theme here is the Avs D coverages breaking down constantly, if he can’t trust the guys in front of him then it makes his job extremely difficult. Same goes the other way, if the guys in front can’t trust him their play suffers. Both need to be a lot better.

– If Coach Bednar is comfortable putting a loss like Ottawa squarely on the players, should we feel comfortable blaming he and his staff when the effort is there but the results aren’t? This is the 3rd game in the last 7 where the players have played great hockey and get nothing to show for it. This isn’t luck, when the process works as designed and doesn’t get results then the process is flawed. Simple as that, the staff have to be much better too. Defense, offense, power play, goaltending are all garbage far too often.

Burgundy Narrative Metric

– “Best guys being your best guys” gets a (-) all go, no show
Quality vs Quantity gets a (+) plenty of both
– Power Play Watchability gets a (+) got some good chances but…
The Dreaded Turtle gets a (+) tired of watching opponent turtles
Starting Goalie Battle% gets a (-) Varly’s getting torched for this but the D lapses on all 3 goals were nauseating and not scoring on your first 20 shots wears on everyone
Referee Oppression Index gets a (-) This crew was totally craptastic, had zero control of the game and penalties were very random. Very frustrating.

Total: -¾

Next up

Last game before the break against the Wilds on Wednesday

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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