In contrast to the first Rookie Faceoff game, which featured the most experience and talent the Avalanche have available, this was more of a chance for the staff and management to look at some of the younger guys and players in camp on tryouts. The result wasn’t what they wanted but the day was more about process. I like the idea. Time is precious but giving responsibility to less proven guys is appealing. Players are invited for a reason, if there’s no game time involved there isn’t much point to doing it.
Burzan – Bowers – Henry
Shvyrev – Lauzon – Kindopp
Mutter – Saigeon – Beaucage
Wegworth – Barlage – Mutala
Byram – Davis
Regis – Kneen
McLeod – Larocque
Scratch: Werner (?BI), forwards Barron, Dickinson, Kaut, Lewis, O’Connor, defensemen Anderson, Timmins, Tischke
Thanks to AJ at BSN we know that Werner has a minor injury but should start on Tuesday.
Goal: Beaucage from McLeod and Larocque
Top shot producers: 6 – Burzan, 4 – Saigeon, 3 – Byram, Kindopp, Beaucage
Team shots: 37, 17 in P2, only 11 in the final 29 minutes
Power play: 0/7
PP1 – Byram, Henry, Bowers, Burzan, Beaucage
PP2 – Davis, Shvyrev, Saigeon, Lauzon, Kindopp
Team shots against: 38, 20 in the final 29 minutes
Penalty kill: 1/3
PK1: Bowers, Burzan, McLeod, Larocque
PK2: Shvyrev, Henry, Regis, Kneen
PK3: Saigeon, Kindopp, Byram, Davis
Penalties: Davis (boarding), Wegworth (unsportsmanlike, coincidental), Henry (hook), Mutter (elbow), Regis (trip)
Miner: 32/38 in 60 minutes
I’m going to skip the line-by-line because frankly there were a lot of guys in the lineup who won’t be around long.
Out of the signed forwards Shane Bowers and Igor Shvyrev stood out best for me. Bowers kept competing regardless of the score or situation and made good things happen that didn’t make their way onto the scoreboard. I’d say that line with Burzan and Henry was a little unlucky and/or got goalied a little bit. Igor wore an alternate captain’s letter and got a lot of PT in all situations. This is a really good sign and combined with a solid showing Saturday makes for a successful start to training camp.
The try-out forwards looked like just that in general. I liked Lauzon’s game the best of the bunch. He’s looking for a contract of some sort, if he keeps this up maybe he gets some sort of AHL or ECHL deal. Kindopp was ok, I’d say he goes back to junior for an overage year.
Kevin Davis wore the C and like I wrote about him in the first game was put in a role he wasn’t in last season. The defense in general struggled and he was over his head a little as the go to guy but still the best of the corps. Wyatt McLeod has another year before he can play in the AHL but has some potential. My main take on him is that he was solid defensively and can move the puck but then ran into trouble distributing. I doubt he ends up in the Avs org but he was worth the invite. Samuel Regis reminded me of his Rouyn-Noranda teammate Alex Beaucage, very young and looked it.
Trent Miner had a rough day on the ice and on the scoreboard. I thought he played well for the most part but kept getting screened by his defensemen and run over by the opponents. He was hung out to dry constantly in the 2nd half of the game so I wouldn’t take much from the numbers here. If this is it for his game action in camp I think he showed well and learned a bunch.
The most noticeable difference between Sunday’s game and Saturday was the Avs pace. The first period they were so slow and that’s just not going to work in their system. They couldn’t create space at all and it killed them at both ends of the ice. The forecheck was a step behind and more or less ineffective. It got better for a while in the 2nd period for a couple of the lines but not consistently enough to matter. Beyond that the lack of experience, in general and with each other, really showed. Not much chemistry which meant passes were off and positioning devolved to chasing the puck a lot. These two aspects combined to make for a nightmare in the defensive zone where they never found a rhythm or were able to break out of shelling up all the time. Most of this has to do with the one-off roster so it’s not a big concern.
Overall the staff got to look at some guys from outside the Avs and put some guys in the org in situations they haven’t been in before. There’s value in that. No one’s going to remember the score a month from now but they’ve got some good feedback and data from the game. Despite the score there are positives here and they can still come back Tuesday and kick ass.