Breaking Down: Avs/Sens, Game 16

The Avs are back in Denver now and while I hesitate to call the trip a disaster it was pretty close. Considering how they were dominated from start to finish, taking a point is actually a positive.

Shot Metrics

As was the case in game 1, the Avs got smoked in shot attempts for percentage. Unlike game 1 this happened right from the start and kept getting worse as the game progressed. Ottawa had 5 major runs without the Avs being able to counter and the Avs best runs didn’t surpass 3 shots in a row.

Final tallies at 5v5 were +27/-44 (38%) for attempts, +11/-25 (31%) for SOG and +8/-21 (28%) for scoring chances. We’re hitting death spiral territory now for possession and hoping that getting healthy bodies back will make them respectable again is folly.

Kerfoot’s line with Sven and Yak was the lone bright spot with all 3 guys at 50% CF or better, and for my money Kerf was the Avs best forward by a mile all weekend. He can’t replace Duchene right off the bat but he sure makes losing him hurt a ton less.

Compher, Bourque, Nieto & Comeau all got slaughtered and were under 25% CF. I love JTC but it’s pretty obvious he’s nowhere near 100% and probably shouldn’t have come back this early. Without the ability to use his stick skills he’s not effective at all.

TOI

EJ led the D as usual with 15:45 at evens and 27:44 overall. Barrie and Girard were close behind 5v5 and ended up at 25:04 and 22:39 respectively overall. Miro brought up the rear at 10:43 overall. Interesting that Girard played every single 5v5 shift with Tyson Barrie, you’d think the staff would spread that out a bit. By time, Mack’s line was first, Kerf the 2nd and Compher’s the 3rd.

Strategy

It’s no secret that Ottawa are strict devotees to the trap-counterattack style and are quite adept at executing it. New Jersey, Vegas and to some extent Carolina play similarly and had given the Avs fits earlier in the year. Once again the Avs struggled to break the trap and get any kind of o-zone time.

The trap isn’t a magic bullet, it can be broken and if it couldn’t then everyone would do it. What is very concerning is Colorado’s continued vulnerability to this style and the lack of strategic answers from the staff on how to overcome it. One of the best ways to beat the trap is speed, which the Avs seem to have a fair amount of, and structure, which they don’t. Tough to say what the issue is here but a solution needs to be found or everyone’s just going to play 1-3-1 when the Avs are in town and pick up an easy 2 points.

Add to this, the staff made one personnel change (other than goalie rotation) after getting their asses handed to them on Friday night: Scratching Nikita Zadorov for Andrei Mironov. That’s it. Same lines, same pairs and sure enough same result. If they expected anything to change, I’d love to hear why. I’m generally a Jared Bednar fan but he booted it bigtime this trip.

Burgundy Narrative Metric

– “Best guys being your best guys” gets a (-) Lots of blah from the top guys
– Corsi gets a (-) Yeesh, it was worse than bad
– Power Play gets a (+) a goal in 4 tries, yay
– Turtle gets a huge (-) they gave up 3 leads and once they went up 3-2 halfway through the game it was gruesome
– Varly% gets a (n/a)
Referee Oppression Index gets a (-) granted the Avs weren’t moving their feet but the refs tooled on them a bit beyond game management levels

Total: -3

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The Avs hit the ice again Thursday vs the Caps

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