Breaking Down: Avs/Sharks, Divisional Finals, Game #7

The end.

It feels like that now but it’s also a beginning. There’s massive disappointment for various reasons, the greatest of which is a weak field and a Stanley Cup up for grabs, but the Avs defeated the top team in “their” division and took the 2nd within a goal in a 7th game. It’s a result that’s both a pleasant surprise and leaves everyone hungry for more.

Projectile Lineup

No gutsy calls last night, same deal as Monday.

Scratch: Calvert (UBI), Andrighetto, Graves, Barberio, Kamenev, Greer, Toninato, O’Connor, Lindholm, Francouz
Injured: none

Team Stats

It doesn’t matter really. For what it’s worth the Avs were close in all the shot metrics by the end, vaguely due to score effects and a strong 3rd period press. The power play was embarrassing as usual and very well could have cost them the series. The 20-year-olds led the team in 5v5 TOI and the Three-Headed Monster topped the forwards. They honestly played a good game and should have no regrets.

Individual

– Colin Wilson’s goal will live on in infamy and joins Colorado’s lore along with Matt Cooke’s knee-on-knee hit and Patrick’s failed Statue of Liberty save. We would all like a glimpse of the universe where the NHL makes the right call rather than the correct one and the game sits 2-all with 32 minutes and 11 seconds remaining but it’s not to be. There were other breakdowns and plenty of opportunity to overcome the controversy, the call sure didn’t help but it wasn’t the sole reason the season came to a close either. I don’t like it and I don’t think it’s appropriate to scrutinize every important play like anal compulsive golf nuts. Such is life.

– The Avs don’t do locker clean-out like most teams so we probably won’t get much out of the players, staff and management, which is unfortunate. We all suspect that many of the guys were down to maybe one or two functioning limbs by last night’s game, it would be nice to know who and how bad. I’m pretty sure Nate’s shoulder was messed up even before he augered into the boards 2 minutes in last night. Mikko & Landy were nowhere close to 100%. Carl Soderberg has been dragging his right leg around as a useless appendage for weeks. Tyson Jost’s broken finger from months ago never got a chance to heal between games. Matt Calvert’s UBI issue is still a mystery and so forth. There’s more of course. Beyond that it’s nice to have some closure and reflection from Sakic, Bednar and others. Perhaps at some point we will.

– If there’s one silver lining to the loss it’s that the Avs retain their draft position in the top 20. Ironically they will pick 16th with their own 1st, one spot ahead of Vegas who succumbed to the Sharks one round earlier. Their full portfolio this year will be #4 (from OTT), #16, #47, #63 (from OTT), #78, #140, #171 and #202. Five picks in the top 100, not bad.

– Thanks to mauling Calgary in round 1 the Avs end up with a post-season record of 7-5. The last loss stings but over the past month we’ve seen more wins than losses and over the past two playoff seasons it’s dead even at 9-9. Nine playoff wins in two years is pretty sweet after just 5 from the time Coach Q left until the lost season of 2017.

Burgundy Narrative Metric

– “Best guys being your best guys” gets a (+) a valiant effort
Quality vs Quantity gets a (-) some of both, not enough
– Power Play Watchability gets a (-) begone from my sight
The Dreaded Turtle gets a (+) nope
Starting Goalie Battle% gets a (+) like the whole series, good but not great
Referee Oppression Index gets a (+) poor job, even taking the goal call out

Total: +3¾

Next up

For the Avs, time to rest, recover and heal.

For the staff and I, we’ll find interesting and different angles to explore on the series and the season as a whole.

Thanks as always to the NHL and Natural Stat Trick for numbers and visuals

earl06

Scoring LW, punchy climber for the Ardennes classics, spirit guide

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