Well you can’t win ’em all. The Avs suffered their first loss of the season at the hands of the club that has supplied many players and an assistant GM to them over the last few years. After trading solid periods the Jackets dominated the 3rd and that’s the important one. Final score 5-2.
Vlad Kamenev was called up after a strong weekend for the Eagles. Not sure what it’s going to take for him to crack the lineup but last night’s game should give him the chance. Patrik Nemeth is still dealing with UBI and the staff will re-evaluate on Wednesday. Sven Andrighetto remains out with LBI, still a few weeks out there. Landy was spotted in the x-ray room after the Philly game and in a walking boot at a Rockies game Sunday but seemed fine.
Scratch: Kamenev, Nemeth (UBI)
Injured: Andrighetto (LBI)
The staff tried something new, benching the 1st PP unit in favor of the 2nd to start off the power plays. It worked well overall but the terrible play of the 1st unit still killed them. Right off the bat they got an opportunity and after some lively play by PP2 came on and had another disaster which carried over into 5v5 time. The subsequent 10-3 run set the advantage Columbus would have for the rest of the evening. The first 10 minutes of the 2nd worked out well with Mack scoring a hero goal and the top line drawing some calls. PP2 got the Avs another PPG but then the Jackets pressed back and that was about it for the show. An early PP in the 3rd came up short and Columbus took it from there with 3 goals in the 3rd.
Tale of the tape was a +32/-40 at 5v5 and shots overall were 35-27 for the Jackets. The Avs generated neither quality nor quantity, with only 2 high-danger chances all night and both were in the 3rd period.
Power play was 1-4 with nothing from the top unit once again. PK was 5-6 with the goal against on a 3v5. They are still effective despite not executing at the level they were last season but plenty of room to grow.
Top 6 forwards were Mack, Mikko, Landy, Kerf, Wilson, Jost at 5v5 and throw Carl in there instead of Wilson overall. Dries was low man again but his minutes bumped up slightly although I’m not sure that’s enough to keep him in the lineup. He only played one shift in the 3rd and took a weird puck over glass penalty.
The defensive regime was Barrie, Sam, EJ, Cole, Z, Barbs at 5v5 and EJ, Barrie, Sam Cole, Z, Barbs in all situations. The TOI at 5v5 has a huge gap between EJ at 16 minutes and Cole with less than 12, which shows the gap between the offensively capable Ds and the defensive guys. By my eye Tyson Barrie is a little overplayed and Z isn’t getting enough time to really get engaged. Z had a good night with Nemeth but the last two games with Barbs have been pretty awful.
– The top line bore the brunt of the damage all night. Maybe it wasn’t their fault, Cole was on ice for 4 of the goals and Tyson Barrie’s horrifying start to the year continued. Those 2 were out with the top guys most of the time and it was a bad fit. Barrie’s defense has been ok so far but offensively he’s been terrible. No points, the 1st PP unit has been demoted and he looks slow and keeps making poor decisions.
– Phillipp Grubauer deserved better than he showed. 30 saves out of 34 isn’t great but he was hung out to dry all night. This could have been 10-2 without some really good stops.
– The Jost/Kerf/Willie line was once again the shining star for the team, all above 55% Corsi but got stonewalled by Bobrovsky all night.
– Carl Soderberg’s line fell even further away from relevance. Carl’s been good at times, Bourque has been ok but he’s a pretty limited player and Matt Nieto has been a huge drag on both. This line does very few things well and it’s obvious that the staff are going to have to come up with some changes. They were around a +3/-9 together last night and just as bad for the season. Wasting Carl’s offensive talent hurts the team when they don’t have a lead and defensively this has been the worst line in all 3 games. It’s not working.
Burgundy Narrative Metric
– “Best guys being your best guys” gets a (-) Not this time
– Quality vs Quantity gets a (-) They had neither
– Power Play Watchability gets a (-) PP2 good, PP1 very bad
– The Dreaded Turtle gets a (NR) since there was no lead to protect
– Starting Goalie Battle% gets a (+) for Grubi but not a strong one
– Referee Oppression Index gets a (-) Oh boy were these fellows trying to insert themselves into the game. Too many calls, poor game management, bad job overall.
A day off then a game vs the Sabres before returning to the Pepsi Center for a 1-Game homestand.
Thanks as always to the NHL and Natural Stat Trick for numbers and visuals