Breaking Down: Avs/Caps, Game 30

The Avs dropped the final game of the road trip 5-2 to the Caps. It wasn’t incredibly surprising, when you consider the Avs 6-2 win vs WSH a few weeks ago and the Caps trajectory since then this was always going to be a toughie.

Team Stats

Despite the Caps scoring early and going on a long possession run after the 1st ended up fairly even. The Avs countered early in the 2nd and the game grinded on from there. Tyson Barrie’s thoughtless muffin up the middle which led directly to the Caps 2nd goal didn’t wake the Avs up but Brett Connolly’s goal early in the 3rd did. After that they made a huge score-effected shot run taking 12 of the next 13 shot attempts. Tyson Jost scored late but there was no celebration nor was one warranted.

Final numbers are a 52% shot attempt night and 24 SOG to Washington’s 27. The road trip ends 0-for-13 on the power play, which looked as dull and ineffective as it ever has. Ray Bennett has tried many different combos but tactically it still looks too similar to Tim Army’s nightmare from the past few seasons. Time to yet again try something new.

TOI

At both 5v5 and overall the hierarchy went EJ, Barrie, Big Z, Nemeth, Barbs, Girard & Lindholm. Good to see Sam Girard’s ice time going up after a few lean nights. Lindy sat most of the 2nd after a few errors and ended up low man on the entire team.

The top-6 forwards were Mack, Mikko, Landy, Comeau, Compher & Soderberg at 5v5. Sven Andrighetto replaced Comeau in the top-6 overall. Tyson Jost was low man 5v5 and Gabe Bourque took those honors overall.

Individual

– Gabe Bourque and Anton Lindholm played little and added less than that. It’s pretty obvious that the 11F/7D usage strategy has run it’s course and it’s time to figure out a way to construct a real 4th line so everyone else isn’t totally gassed like they were last night. This is a band-aid on a sucking chest wound and the longer they put off playing 4 lines like everyone else in the league the more it’s going to cumulatively hurt the team.

– Colin Wilson is very gradually making a role for himself and was a bright spot for the Avs on this road trip. His TOI went from 11 minutes vs Tampa to over 15 last night and he had goals vs Florida and the Caps.

– My take on the 11F/7D lineup was that it was to give Sam Girard ice time, although reduced, instead of benching him like we’ve seen with Nikita Zadorov and the other young Ds earlier in the season. In the last 5 games starting with Buffalo his number of shifts went 24, 17, 12, 17,16. Judging by his performance last night I think the staff are now back to being comfortable playing him top-6 minutes. Strangely enough I believe this to be a sound and perhaps innovative development strategy with their talented young defensemen.

Burgundy Narrative Metric

– “Best guys being your best guys” gets a (-) pretty blah game for everyone
– Corsi gets a (+) faintly, thanks to score effects
– Power Play gets a (-) time to hit the panic button here
– Turtle gets a (+) the 3rd was the only period they showed signs of life
– Varly% gets a (-) kind of a sneaky bad game
Referee Oppression Index gets an (even) for staying out of the way

Total: -1½

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The Avs return home to face the Panthers again tomorrow

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