Breaking Down: Avs/Canucks, Game #64

Against all odds the Avs won their 2nd game of the season that went past regulation in a thrilling 6-round shootout. I can’t believe I’m calling a shootout thrilling but here we are. An active officiating crew kept this one from being determined in normal fashion but the good guys persevered anyway.

Projectile Lineup

Colin Wilson was activated off IR and took a spot next to the other two wings on the 4th line. Gabriel Bourque went back to the press box where he normally resides. Mark Barberio was spotted in a walking cast which wasn’t evident in the recent “Match Game” vid produced by the Avs PR staff. Who knows what’s up there.

Scratch: Bourque, Barberio
Injured: Cole (face), Kamenev (shoulder)

Team Stats

As you can see from the chart below, the 1st period was marred by constant overmanagement from the refs. Despite that, the Avs created many good scoring chances in the frame, both at 5v5 and even on the PP. The 2nd period was fairly even with the Avs going on a nice 10-2 run early but gradually conceding territory to the Nucks, especially in the quality chance department. Frustration at not being able to solve Markstrom set in and they went high-volume low-quality for most of the 3rd. Vancouver made a big push in the last 5 minutes and eventually tied the game. Colorado had a mediocre OT session but at least they didn’t blow it. Mikko and Carl won the skills comp and 2 important points.

Tale of the tape at 5v5 was +50/-41 and shots in all situations favored the Avs 45-32. Scoring chances were pretty even and Vancouver’s late push gave them the advantage in high-danger opportunities. Game pace at 5v5 was a fairly average 120 per hour.

The power play looked ok for a change and generated a whopping 6 shots on goal in a little over 5 minutes. Mikko’s goal on chance #2 gave them a 1-3 mark on the night. The PK looked pretty awful vs the Canucks’ 27th ranked PP but did end up creating some good offensive chances themselves. No damage in a perfect 5-5 night but the optics weren’t great.

TOI

The top 6 forwards at 5v5 were Mack, Mikko, then a dropoff to Brassard, Landy, Jost and Soderberg. In all situations it was Mack (23:29), Mikko, Carl, Landy, Compher, Calvert. Sheldon Dries was low man at 8:15 and only 4:42 at 5v5. He only played 16 seconds 5v5 in the first period which begs the question of why is he in the lineup.

The defensive regime went Big Z, Sam, EJ, Nemeth, Barrie and Graves at 5v5. In all situations it was EJ (24), Z (22), Nemeth (21+), Sam (21+), Barrie (19) and Graves (12). Tyson Barrie’s TOI has been odd lately and it looks like they’re giving some of his minutes to… Patrik Nemeth? Ryan Graves looks like he’s hit a bit of a wall, which is to be expected. He just hit 20 games and the staff have been moving him from a really sheltered role to more of a full caseload. This is typical rookie stuff, now we wait to see if he can take the next step and break through.

Individual

– Mack looked a little sheepish taking the 1st star interview after Carl Soderberg had just won the game. The stars are picked long before the game ends so it is what it is but Carl has been a special player all year. He’s asked to do a lot and delivers. He probably won’t catch up to his career high in points (51) and assists (39), mostly due to his linemates, but his overall effect will be much more.

– The win put the Avs back in a playoff spot for the time being, jumping over the slumpy Stars and tying them with the Wilds in points. The last two spots are down to those three plus Arizona. Chicago looks to be teetering on the edge about to fall off. Colorado is the only club of the four with a positive goal differential and has 3 fewer regulation losses than Dallas and Minny, usually those are good signs. Ten wins in the final 18 games should get Colorado into the playoffs with a hilarious 88 points but 12 or 13 would be the mark to shoot for.

Burgundy Narrative Metric

– “Best guys being your best guys” gets a (+) yeah, I’d say so
Quality vs Quantity gets a (-) decent quantity, no quality
– Power Play Watchability gets a (+) a rare good evening
The Dreaded Turtle gets a (-) tried not to shell up but did eventually
Starting Goalie Battle% gets a (+) Varly’s been a rock lately
Referee Oppression Index gets a (+) Hated this crew. A highlight of the night was one of the lineys falling down hard and the crowd cheering. That’s pretty much how we all felt about it. The refs inflicted their view on how they wanted the game to be played throughout the 1st period so instead of two young teams playing a fast exciting game we got more of a grindfest. Yuck.

Total: +2¾

Next up

A quick trip out West to play the Sharks in the middle of the night on Friday then an afternoon game vs the Duck on Sunday.

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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