The Avs returned from the All-Star Break with a regulation tie and now sit a point behind the final wild card slot although they have games in hand. The 4-3 loss was more of a loss for the lineup as Nathan MacKinnon left with UBI in the 2nd period and did not return. Jared Bednar characterized it as day-to-day this morning for what it’s worth. For reference, Sven Andrighetto has been day-to-day for the entire month of January so it is what it is.
The game started out even on the shot board, the Avs generating lots of scoring chances and the Canucks scoring two goals on mistakes. A big 8-0 run by Colorado at the end of the 1st got them some momentum going into intermission. The 2nd was choppy and featured 6 power plays. The Avs managed to gain a lead with 3 goals however and looked to have the edge until a puck over glass penalty right as the horn sounded. The Canucks tied the game on the resulting PP and dominated the 3rd period. It’s understandable the Avs would be out of sorts without Mack but that’s not the response you want to see.
Final tally was +42/-40, fine for a road game I guess but still disappointing.
The PP was 1/4 thanks to Captain Gabe and the PK let one slip by on what was still in reality a 3v5 situation. Bad clears were the culprit and that one goal was preventable in many ways.
The defensive regime was EJ, Big Z, Girard, Barrie, Nemeth and Lindholm at 5v5 then basically the same overall. Lindholm was just below 8 minutes at 5v5 and only 11:16 overall, trailing Tyson Barrie in 5th by almost 6 minutes.
The top 6 was skewed by the MacKinnon injury and went Landy, Mikko, Comeau, Compher, Kerfoot Bourque at 5v5 and Landy, Compher, Mikko, Soderberg, Comeau, Kerf overall. The 4th line of Toninato/Jost/Yak had been shelved early in the 2nd and once Mack went down only Jost got regular shifts, moving into Kerfoot’s spot on the 3rd after he was promoted to the top line. Jost played only 4:25 in the first half of the game then 8:34 after and oddly enough was a lot better once he moved up a line.
– Gabe Landeskog stepped up bigtime in the 2nd half of the game, scoring a 2nd goal and taking over F3 duties on the top line. He led forwards in ice time and was 2nd overall among skaters. Avs are going to need nights like this to continue.
– Alexander Kerfoot played his first game in BC as a pro and showed quite well. No points but ended up a +16/-9 in 11:40 of 5v5 time. Also finished at 50% on the dot which is nice on a team that struggles to win faceoffs. If the 1st line is his destiny for the time being it’s a huge opportunity for the rookie.
– Jon Bernier didn’t have a great night but I hesitate to put a ton of blame on him. He couldn’t track the 2nd goal, which was pretty bad, but the other 3 came from some egregious errors by his teammates.
– Tyson Barrie had a mixed game returning from a hand injury. The Avs controlled play well with him on the ice and he had an assist on Landy’s even strength goal. I didn’t love his play on the PP, mainly from the usual decision making issues. The optimistic move in OT eventually led to the Canucks game-winner and was a really boneheaded play. We’re all looking for signs that he helps/hurts overall team success when in the lineup since they did more than fine without him. It’s going to be interesting to see how this plays out over the next month or so.
Burgundy Narrative Metric
– “Best guys being your best guys” gets a (+) Thanks to Landy and Mikko, fairly even aside from them
– Corsi gets a (+) despite getting smoked in the 3rd
– Power Play gets a (+) 1-for-4 and got them the lead, yowza
– Turtle gets a (-) because it looked like they were turtling for a tie. Boo
– Varly% gets a (n/a) and Bernie% was notso hotso
– Referee Oppression Index gets a (+) some really iffy non-calls against Mack early on might have led to the frustration and ultimately the injury.
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The Avs are in chilly Edmonton readying for tomorrow night’s showdown.