The Avs grabbed a point Tuesday night after a terrific goalie battle sent the game to OT and the skills comp. The staff made some subtle personnel changes that didn’t have much effect right off the bat but we’ll see how it goes. While the record is different, they have the same number of points they had after 8 games last year so no reason to panic.
JT Compher is out indefinitely with a head injury, which is a bummer. He’s been a key depth scorer so far. The Avs claimed Marko Dano from the Jets on Waivers Monday and he’ll join the team after visa issues get sorted. Matt Calvert and Gabe Bourque swapped spots in the lineup and the 4th consisted of Bourque and the two callups, Kamenev & Dries.
Scratch: Barbs, Compher (Haut du Corps)
Injured: Sven (LBI)
This game was all over the place. The Rags trap made it hard for the Avs to sustain any pressure and the Avs taking lazy penalties all night sure didn’t help. If you look at the 2 solid runs in the 2nd period you can see good game management that didn’t happen in the 1st and 3rd. In overtime they did fine after the MacKinnon penalty and were thwarted by hitting the post twice.
Tale of the tape was +51/-54 at 5v5 but the Avs were outshot 43-33 overall. Considering all the special teams time that’s a pretty high pace, something that’s been lacking so far. I’d like to see more of that. Even though they were outchanced 12-11 from high-danger areas they were creating high-danger chances in general, I’d like to see more of that also. Just need to cut down on the chances against.
The power play was 1/3, which is nice. Some noticeable improvement happening there. The PK gave up only their 2nd goal of the season and were 5/6 so no complaints there.
The Top 6 forwards were Mikko, Mack, Landy, Kerf, Jost, Wilson at 5v5 with Matt Nieto replacing Wilson in all situations TOI. Gabe Bourque was low man 5v5 and played almost exactly the same amount of time there as on the PK. Sheldon Dries and Vlad Kamenev were the only guys under 10 minutes overall but they both played well and had lots of PK time.
The defensive regime went Barrie, EJ, Sam, Cole, Z, Nemeth at 5v5 and same at all strengths with Sam and Cole swapping spots thanks to PK minutes.
– Mack set an Avalanche/Nordique record with his 6th straight game with a goal to start the season. Of course Mikko assisted on it. Mikko leads the team in points with 9 (1G/8A) with Mack right behind (7G/1A). It won’t happen but if Mack ended up with 70 goals and 10 assists it would be pretty hilarious.
– Vlad Kamenev had his best NHL game to date and got a mention from Coach Bednar after the game. This was a perfect example of what he has to do to solidify his spot in the lineup and unlock more minutes. Solid play at 5v5 and looked good on the penalty kill. Sheldon Dries was also good and got a shoutout from coach. Each had 2 shots on goal and take out 1 bad shift they were positive on the shot board for the game.
– The Soderberg line looked better on the shot board with Calvert replacing Bourque but we still had the lack of finishing ability problem. All 3 had some good chances they couldn’t convert, they developed 4 high-danger chances as a group and no glory. It’s a start.
– Varly has given the Avs a chance to win every game and still doesn’t have a regulation loss in 5 starts. He’s rocking a 95% save percentage facing over 34 shots per night. Grubby’s getting the next start vs the Devils but it’s a tough decision to swap goalies right now.
Burgundy Narrative Metric
– “Best guys being your best guys” gets a (+) Varly and the top line got the point so yes
– Quality vs Quantity gets a (-) Some quantity, some quality. More of either would have been better. They need to figure out which they want to do.
– Power Play Watchability gets a (+) Overall it was ok but plenty of room to grow
– The Dreaded Turtle gets a (+) none that I saw, nice change
– Starting Goalie Battle% gets a (+) Varly was super once again
– Referee Oppression Index gets a (-) Avs have taken lots of penalties this year so it’s hard to argue against any one of them but 6 minors vs 3 for the Rags felt like home cookin’
A hop over the Hudson River to face the Devils Thursday night.
Thanks as always to the NHL and Natural Stat Trick for numbers and visuals