The Avs won their first game this year sans Nate MacKinnon thanks to a righteous OT goal from JT Compher. The Avs scored first and held the lead until 28 seconds left in regulation. At times it was ugly but for a team with a big hole in the lineup they learned some things that should help going forward.
This was overall an even game on the shot board, Colorado ended up a +47/-49 at 5v5 but like we’ve seen a lot recently they looked more dominant with score adjustments. Take that at 54%. There was a gut-wrenching turtle in the 3rd but the Avs took a 3-1 lead into the period and immediately went on an 8-2 shot run in the first 6 minutes.
Thanks to some questionable officiating the Avs only had 1 power play, which they converted, and 3 penalty kills, which Edmonton did not convert. The PP has slipped to 11th for the moment but everyone in that area is very close. By PP goals they are 6th in the league with 39. The PK is now in 3rd behind San Jose and LA.
The defensive regime at 5v5 went EJ, Z, Barrie, Nemeth/Girard right together again, then Lindholm. Thanks to plenty (4:45) of PK time, Nemeth jumped ahead of Barrie overall.
Top 6 forwards were Nieto (what?), Wilson, Compher, Comeau, Landy, Jost at 5v5 and then Landy, Carl, Nieto, Comeau, Compher (all 5 between 17:04 and 17:40) and Mikko. Dom Toninato was low man at 9:54 and he and Kerf were the only skaters that played no special teams. As usual the 4th got shelved in the 3rd and Sam Girard was used very sparingly, which is a little baffling considering Barrie played 6:21 to his 3:27. I get the rookie vs vet deal here but if you want to move the puck then why use one and not the other?
– Big Z had a monster evening once again, scored the opening goal in impressive fashion and made several game-saving defensive plays. Final tally was +19/-14 on the shot board and he had 5 individual shot attempts and 2 SOG. Dude is becoming the total package. I love JB’s call to put him out first in OT, that might have been the difference between a win and a loss.
– It was a night of firsts for young Sam Girard. He took his first penalty in burgundy and blue, a bullshit tripping call in P1, which was also his first since his NHL debut with Nashville. Oh, and he also scored his first goal for the Avs on a wicked wrister from the high slot. Nice!
– Just a heads up, the Avs have scored 163 goals this season. You may or may not remember that they had 165 all last season so they should equal that at least on Saturday in game 51 of the season. Well done, kids.
– Despite everyone wanting to trade him away, Tyson Barrie is persevering in his return from a broken hand. An assist in each game so far and now has 4G/25A in 36 games played. I did the math so you don’t have to, that’s still a 55 point pace while missing 14 games and an 82 game pace around 66.
– Jonathan Bernier has cooled off like you would expect in the last 5 games, averaging 3 against and a save percentage at 91% instead of 96% during the streak. Varly has been all but named the starter for Saturday’s game. Now we get to see who’s the top dog.
Burgundy Narrative Metric
– “Best guys being your best guys” gets an (even) but we have a new group of best guys that’s on the rise. Time to refocus the narrative
– Corsi gets a (+) but not a strong one
– Power Play gets a (+) 1-for-1 and Sam!
– Turtle gets a (-) it wasn’t a long one and the tying goal happened much later but it was there. I’ll give it a pass since the staff are learning life without Mack like we are.
– Varly% gets a (n/a) but should be back nest time
– Referee Oppression Index gets a (+) The Oilers non-goal was stupid and unnecessary. That should be called on the ice so everyone can move on quickly and not have to make some procedural move to negate it. Fix this shit, pronto. Aside from that they called a bad game with 2 of the Avs penalties being phantom calls and Comeau’s at the end was a disgrace.
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The Avs are already enjoying the city of Winnipeg and will play an early evening game at MTS Center tomorrow.