The Avs hosted their 2nd Stadium Series game last night and dropped a tough one to the Kings late. Much has and will be written about the on-site experience for fans attending the contest which I will leave to others. As far as the off-site experience went, it had predictable issues like weird camera angles and poor hockey as the players struggled with unfamiliar and non-optimal conditions. In an outdoor game there won’t be much scoring and a lot is left to random chance, an area where the Avs fell short in the 3-1 loss.
Lineup was same as the rest of the previous week and Grubi got the start. Both he and Matt Calvert were injured during the game, no updates as of yet. Kadri is now on injured reserve so there’s an open roster spot.
Burky – Mack – Mikko
Landy – Compher – Donskoi
Calvert – PEB – Nuke
Nieto – Jost – Kamenev
Sam – EJ
Graves – Makar
Big Z – Cole
Scratch: Barbs, Tynan
Injured: Kadri (LBI), Willie (ABI)
Colorado had a great start, at one point they held a 13-1 advantage in shots on goal, but as the ice deteriorated the Kings took the upper hand and left P1 with the only goal. The 2nd period was something between crunchy and droopy I’d say. Towards the end the Avs found some energy and finally sustained some zone time which lead to their only goal of the game by Sam Girard. Early in the 3rd Ian Cole took out Grubi and Frank entered the game. It took a while for the Kings to get their first shot on him but in general the 3rd was just a back-and-forth affair. A lost faceoff by JT Compher late in the 3rd set up Tyler Toffoli’s winning goal and he completed the hat trick 50 seconds later to finish the game off.
Despite their lowly position in the standings the Kings have the highest CF rate in the league so keeping things at +50/-48 isn’t bad at all. Shots on goal in all situations favored the Avs heavily 33-23 thanks to a ton of blocked shots. Game pace at 5v5 was a plodding 107 per hour.
There wasn’t really any special teams time. The box score has 2 PPs for each team but in reality there was less than half a minute of man advantage total.
Top 6 forwards were Mack, Mikko, Landy, Burky, Donskoi and Compher. In all situations it was Mack (20+), Mikko (19), Landy (18), Burky (17+), Compher (17) and Donskoi (16). Vlad Kamenev was low man at just over 9 minutes.
The defensive regime went Sam, Makar, EJ, Cole, Graves and Big Z. Overall it was Makar (22), Sam (21+), EJ (20), Graves (19+), Cole (18+) and Z (17+).
– Sam Girard’s goal was the lone bright spot in an otherwise forgettable evening. It capped off a great shift and 3 straight shot attempts before the final one went past Jonathan Quick. Nice Job.
– Normally I’d try not to take much from an outdoor game where everything is so out of the ordinary but one thing stood out. Avs defensemen attempted 24 of the team’s 50 shots at 5v5 and had 15 of their 31 shots on goal. This has been a trend for the past 5 games now and as I wrote yesterday is not a positive one. Yes, it’s a good thing to have defensemen contributing to shot generation and scoring, especially guys like Girard and Makar who drive the offense. There’s a point of diminishing returns though and as the percentage of shots taken by the D rises then scoring is going to fall. Over the last 5 games the D has taken 46.3% of all shots at net 5v5 and that’s a bad thing. The Avs only have 6 goals at 5v5 over that span which is well below average for the league’s highest scoring team. This has been a hallmark of Colorado slumps over the past two seasons and they need to reverse this trend immediately.
– Beyond Grubi and Frank the Avs have some issues at the goalie position. Adam Werner has been injured for the past couple weeks. He is with the Eagles on a road trip but hasn’t dressed yet. Antoine Bibeau was never healthy and is out for the season. Hunter Miska was signed to an NHL contract this week and would be the callup if need be. Everything’s cool as long as Frankie can carry the load if Grubauer needs some more time off but if there’s a longer term problem the staff might have to make a move.
Burgundy Narrative Metric
– “Best guys being your best guys” gets a (-) not really
– Quality vs Quantity gets a (+) not bad actually
– Power Play Watchability gets a (+) pass
– The Dreaded Turtle gets a (+) they turtled in P1 after going up 13-1 in SOG, weird
– Starting Goalie Battle% gets a (+) let’s hope Grubi’s ok
– Referee Oppression Index gets a (+) shoutout for keeping their uniforms normal
Tough week with Tampa and the Islanders coming to town.
Thanks as always to the NHL and Natural Stat Trick for numbers and visuals