The new and improved Avalanche began the season with a promising win over the Rags 4-2. There were plenty of things to be happy about and plenty of concerns as well. Let’s take a look.
4 goals, 3 of them with a goalie on the ice. That’s new. Dutch and Mikko in the 1st period, Barrie with the game-winner in the 2nd and Captain Gabe added an ENG to seal it. The power play went 1-for-5 but seemed to fizzle as the game went on. The PK was a mess and allowed the only 2 goals against, finishing up 4/6.
The Avs were outshot 39-26, which is alarming but score-adjusted at 5v5 they actually outshot the Rags if you can believe it. Adjusted CF% ended up at 48.3% so we can keep calm about this for the moment. Of the 39 SOG, 15 came on the PK and they allowed 4 shots while on the power play. Simple solution seems to be: Don’t take so many dumb penalties. I’m looking at you Matt Nieto with your 2 stick penalties and an elbowing call.
Time On Ice
The Compher line led TOI at even strength by quite a bit with the Dutch & Mack lines pretty close and the 4th lagging as usual. Johnson & Barrie played over 25 minutes total, Nemeth and Barbs came in around 18 minutes and Bigras was right at 13:57. Mironov ended up at 11:24 and had the fewest 5v5 minutes of anyone on the team.
Surprises for me start out with Mark Barberio getting almost 4 minutes of PK and nothing on the power play. Tyson Jost (0:08) and Nail Yakupov (0:48) didn’t see much time with the man advantage. Top PKers were Jost & Comeau, both over 3:30. I’m sure Matt Nieto would have been up there if he hadn’t taken 3 dumb penalties himself.
Along with playing the most minutes at 5v5, Compher and Landy were also 2 of the only 4 players at 50% CF or better on the night. Yakupov and Patrick Nemeth were the only others. The 4th line struggled, all at 40% or worse. Chris Bigras had a good performance overall but at +12/-18 we saw a continuation of his poor shot suppression numbers from back in 2016. Andrei Mironov had a woeful night at +2/-9. Consider the rates from these 2 and it’s pretty disturbing with Mironov on-ice for around a shot attempt and a half against per minute and Bigras nearly 2 per minute.
– Varly was fantastic with a .949 Sv% overall and perfect at even strength #WhyNotUs
– Patrik Nemeth is an ugly skater but overall fit in well with the team after but a single practice and added an assist along with promising CF at 52.6%
– Alexander Kerfoot showed he can hang in the NHL. His play in the d-zone was a little floaty but I’ll take it. He’s got ridiculous eye-hand or stick coordination and with some experience I bet we see him become a wonderful pickpocket in the neutral zone. Scored his first NHL point assisting on Tyson Barrie’s GWG. We could have quite a steal here folks.
– Matt Nieto’s 3 penalties were a disappointment, especially since he’s in the lineup with killing penalties as a primary duty. The 2 stick penalties were dumb, the refs have been on that all pre-season and he’s quick enough that he shouldn’t have to play from behind.
– Andrei Mironov’s NHL debut didn’t go well. By the 3rd period he was a bit more comfortable but the first 40 minutes were gruesome. Plenty of guys currently in San Antonio can duplicate and surpass that performance so he needs to step it up quickly.
Burgundy Narrative Metric
– “Best guys being your best guys” gets a (+). Varly, EJ, Barrie, Dutch, Mikko, Landy all led the way with goals and solid play
– Corsi gets an (even) with a faint (-)
– Power Play gets a (+), but it was slipping towards even as the game went on
– Turtle gets a (-), they got smoked pretty bad in the 3rd
– Varly% gets a massive (+)
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The Avs practice today in beautiful Newark, NJ before facing the Devils at the Rock tomorrow afternoon.