The best and perhaps only thing to take away from last night’s tragedy against the LA Kings is that it’s only one game and they only lost out on two points. Whether losing 2-1 on a late goal or getting braziled, it all counts the same. The net effect on this playoff run is that the Avs are still in the 1st wild card spot, still only 2 points back of 3rd in the Central and still 3 points ahead of the nearest challenger looking from the outside in. Going forward they have 8 games to get the 8 points it looks like it’s going to take to make the post-season.
The only stat that really matters here is 7-1, or really 3-1 after a late goal on the Kings PP thanks to a really soft call on Nikita Zadorov near the end of the first period. After that the Avs dissolved into a gooey mess of individuals in various states of effectiveness. For what it’s worth shot attempts ended even but were heavily slanted towards Los Angeles taking score effects into consideration.
The PK let in another goal, the 2nd in 2 games without Carl Soderberg, and finished 1 for 2. The power play couldn’t get anything going and went 0 for 3. On the bright side the Avs won the faceoff battle 32-27.
After failing to get a response from the players in the 2nd period the staff started to tinker with the lines and pairs. The top line stayed together for the most part, Jost and Andrighetto ended up with Kerfoot. Comeau and Nieto had a variety of centers from Vlad Kamenev to Colin Wilson to JT Compher.
Carl Soderberg’s absence due to illness has put Colorado into a top 3/bottom 9 situation for the last 2 games. Vlad Kamenev was ok in that role last night but still looked a little over his head, any rookie would. It’s a tough time of the year to get your feet wet in the NHL but there were signs of progress. Where we are not seeing progress is in the bottom 6, especially with the Andrighetto/Compher/Jost line. There is a wealth of good young talent there, throw Kerfoot and Toninato and for that matter Greer in too, but no one that can consistently drive the play.
The benefits of stacking the top 6 have outweighed the downside of having little happening in the other lines for the most part but when the Avs need more from the depth it’s not there yet. A year from now, when most of us projected they would become truly competitive, that won’t be the case. Chalk this up to being ahead of schedule and having most of the roster under the age of 25. The Avs weren’t built to compete late in the season and into the playoffs this year, yet they are anyway. This is a side effect of developing a young team from the ground up working out far better than anyone imagined.
Burgundy Narrative Metric
– “Best guys being your best guys” gets a (-)
– Corsi gets a (-) even tho it was even without score effects
– Power Play gets a (-) no help there
– Turtle gets a (-) but never had a chance
– Varly% gets a (-) get some rest, man
– Referee Oppression Index gets a (+) Big Z’s hook at the end of the first was really soft and buried the Avs. You could see it coming tho, when Landy was going nuts in front of the Kings net a few shifts earlier the ref was basically telling him next call was on them.
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The Avs face Vegas home-and-home Saturday and Monday
Burgundy Rainbow Post-Game from the Pepsi Center
Vlad gives his instant review from the seats. Also check out the catalogue of fine prospect vids at our YouTube channel