The Avs lost a very winnable point against a team far above them in the standings. Considering this was the 2nd of a 2-game suspension for their top defenseman and they came out of that with 3 points, it was a decent outcome. If you subscribe to the theory that you need to lose games like this before you learn how to win them, then this was another step in the process.
The game was fairly back and forth until early in the 3rd period when the Kings motivated to try and win the game and the Avs sat back and turtled. Predictably, the turtle failed and the Kings tied the game then both teams seemed fine with taking a point and going to overtime.
Overall the game ended at 50% CF but the Avs were 53% when score-adjusted. Which is nice. Special teams didn’t play much of a role in the outcome. The PP went 0/2 and the PK killed all 3 penalties they had to.
The D hierarchy was Barrie, Nemeth, Barbs, Zadorov, Lindholm, Girard both 5v5 and overall. The Top 6 forwards at 5v5 were Landy, Mikko, Comeau, Mack, Soderberg, Nieto and Landy, Mack, Mikko, Comeau, Carl, Nieto overall.
I want to take a look at the last 15 minutes of regulation here because it was an important and determining part of the game and player usage changed from earlier when the Avs controlled play. First, check out the top shot metric players from the entire game:
In the final 15 minutes, Yak and Kerfoot got 4 shifts each and Jost/Girard were only given 2 each. Tyson Jost played 70 seconds despite being the team leader in Corsi for and the 4th line was very stout all night up until that point. They were discarded in favor of the “defensively responsible line” and Anton Lindholm. Let’s see how they fared overall.
Blake Comeau – 5:24, 9 shifts. Overall CF of 40%
Matt Nieto – 4:37, 7 shifts. Overall CF of 39%
Carl Soderberg – 4:34, 7 shifts. Overall CF of 33%
Anton Lindholm – 3:15, 6 shifts. Overall CF of 23% (last on team)
Don’t get me wrong, lots of other players were out there in the last 15 minutes and not being effective too but this is a glimpse at the mentality of coaches in tight games. They go with guys they trust instead of guys that drive play. Of course the best possible outcome is the 4th + Girard continue to play regular shifts and the puck stays out of the Avalanche end. Perhaps they score or prevent the Kings from scoring and overtime isn’t needed. Of course they could do some serious rookie’ing and lose the game too, you never know. In my opinion it’s a little iffy to leave a hot line on the bench and hope you can grind your way to a victory in a game like last night. It pretty much played right into the Kings’ strengths and got away from what had made the Avs effective in the first 45 minutes. It’s probably a good time for the Avs to start being who they are in situations like this.
– Captain Gabe scored his 14th goal of the season with Mack and Mikko getting their 25th and 20th assists respectively. For reference Landy had 18 goals total last year, Mack had 37 assists and Mikko 18. Nice!
– Varly admitted he was screened on the Kings 1st goal and the crappy line change in OT hung him out to dry for the decider. Another solid .926 performance overall. Keep playing your starter, coach.
– After a brutal showing vs Pittsburgh the 4th line of Jost/Kerf/Yak was a revelation. The Kings matched their 4th up against and that showed to be a mistake. I’m still skeptical of Yakupov’s usefulness but he was fine in this game. If these fellows develop some chemistry then we might really have something.
Burgundy Narrative Metric
– “Best guys being your best guys” gets a (+) A goal, good goalie play? Yay
– Corsi gets a (+) despite backing down in the 3rd
– Power Play gets a (-) would have been nice to get a PPG but 0/2 is what it is
– Turtle gets a (-) for reasons mentioned above
– Varly% gets a (+) for a solid game
– Referee Oppression Index gets an (even) for not inserting themselves into the narrative
/ / / / / /
The Avs are in Phoenix to play the Coyotes tomorrow night