The Avs had another lackluster performance in a blowout loss Saturday to finish off what amounted to a month-long 16-game road trip. Final record is 6-8-2 over that stretch and that along with some injuries have killed any hope of qualifying for the playoffs at this point. In the big picture, they need to take the last 21 games and make sure they focus on the process rather than the results.
The Avs controlled play for a good portion of the 1st period but a couple of bad mistakes by Tyson Barrie and Nikita Zadorov had them down 2-1. The second was sloppy and gave the Flames a 3-1 lead going into the 3rd where the Avs didn’t show up at all.
Final tally was a +44/-57 but shots on goal ended up even at 29 while the Avs actually outshot the Flames 25-23 at 5v5. The Avs continued the chronic trend of poor quality chance generation with 5 high-danger chances in the 1st but only 2 after that when they were behind. When they were playing well statistically, they were able to suppress quality rather well but that’s just a memory now.
The PK stopped 2 of 3 and really had no chance on the Monahan goal. The power play only had one opportunity but actually fared well despite not scoring. 6 scoring chances, 3 of them high-danger, and 8 shot attempts in 2 minutes is the kind of production we’d like to see on a regular basis.
Faceoffs aren’t that important but the Avs are bad at winning them so I’ll give them some props for a good outing. They made it over 50%, yay! The main C’s on each line did pretty well with Mack (8/17), Carl (7/13), Kerf (6/11) and Toninato (2/4) doing the bulk of the work.
The defensive usage went Barrie, Girard, Nemeth, then a big gap to Warsofsky & Siemens and Zadorov last after getting benched again. Barrie ended up at 26 minutes with slightly more PK time than PP, which is a symptom of some larger use issues. With EJ injured and Zadorov ineffective the staff have square-pegged him into a #1 role he’s not equipped to handle.
Most of the forwards got the message after Thursday’s benchings and the top 6 was Comeau, Nieto, Mikko, Mack, Landy & Carl at 5v5 and Comeau, Carl, Nieto, Mack, Mikko, Landy overall. Low man was JT Compher at 10:04, which is pretty high for 4th line minutes.
– Nikita Zadorov was benched again late in the 2nd after a frustration penalty, his 2nd of the period. He figured prominently in 3 of the 5 Calgary goals, especially the opener 18 seconds in. This is not what the Avs need with EJ out and it hints that he was a passenger on the top pairing, even though that would be overly simplistic. Playing with Tyson Barrie is very difficult and he hasn’t adjusted quickly. I think at this point you have to play him with Duncan or something like that and try and get 15-17 quality minutes rather than continue with the TB4 disaster. Barrie creates many problems for defensive usage and this is just another example.
– Speaking of Duncan, another game and another solid performance. In fairly light usage he was tops on the team in shot metric at a +19/-11, this is not out of the ordinary. In the AHL he’s known as a stout shot suppressor as well, it’s what he does. Everyone’s dying to know how long he can keep this up. Even though it was the secondariest of secondary assists on a roflgoal from the red line by MacKinnon, he got his first NHL point yesterday. Congrats!
– Varly didn’t have a good game at all. 3 of the goals against were howlers, including the opener. This was the first time since coming back from injury he’s had to play 3 in a row and it didn’t go well. Hopefully Bernie’s feeling better because 4,5,6 in a row aren’t going to go well I don’t think.
Burgundy Narrative Metric
– “Best guys being your best guys” gets a (-) Top line got killed
– Corsi gets a (-) but not as bad as you would think
– Power Play gets an (even) 0/1 but solid execution
– Turtle gets a (-) never even had a chance to turtle
– Varly% gets a (-) and looked tired
– Referee Oppression Index gets a (+) Laissez faire, just how we like it
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The Avs return home to face the Canucks once again after tomorrow’s 3pm trading deadline