GLENDALE, Ariz. – The whole night was epitomized by a play late in the second period. Ian Cole has a clean look from a nice pass, near the point, and as he tries to blast a puck at Darcy Kuemper, his stick implodes. Cole then tries to grab a stick from the bench on the ensuing Coyotes rush the other way – and misses it.
The Colorado Avalanche is in its first official slump of 2019-20, folks. The Avs lost again, this time to the Arizona Coyote in a game that was pretty much decided in the first period. The Avs have now been outscored 4-0 in the last two first periods and are 1-4-1 in the last six games overall.
Jared Bednar tried to change things up with a new first line of Tyson Jost-Nathan MacKinnon-J.T. Compher, and reuniting the second line of Andre Burakovsky-Nazem Kadri-Joonas Donskoi. By the start of the second period, Bednar pretty much just threw all the forwards in a blender and went with whatever came out. Nothing worked.
Let’s get to some more informal observations from here.
- Pavel Francouz wasn’t the reason the Avs lost, as the play in front of him in the first period was a disgrace to the game of hockey. The Avs turned the puck over too many times to count almost, and Arizona had a 2-0 lead after the first. That said, Francouz looked shaky for the second game overall. He overskated/overcommitted a few times out there and was just caught out of position on a couple of shots.
- Not too many guys played what you would call “well” for the Avs. But it was particularly a rough night for depth forwards like Val Nichushkin and Vladislav Kamenev. Too many soft plays with the puck, too many turnovers and they barely ever possessed the puck. You have to wonder if the Nichushkin experiment might be running its course. Counting games from last season, Nichushkin has now gone 67 straight games without a goal.
- Avs had some really good looks in the second period and got three straight power plays from the two-minute mark to the 12-minute mark, but they couldn’t solve Darcy Kuemper. I don’t know if Kuemper really robbed the Avs as much as the Avs just failed to finish, though. Don’t get me wrong, Kuemper was solid. But the Avs totally seem like a team that has lost a lot of offensive confidence right now. We knew it would be tougher without Gabe Landeskog and Mikko Rantanen. But not this tough.
- Speaking of Landeskog, he is now a father:
Joyous day for the captain pic.twitter.com/C9iVa7bR3W
— Adrian Dater (@adater) November 2, 2019
- Obviously, we can see where Landy’s injury was/is. Avs have not provided a firm timetable yet.
- The Avs indicated they would call up a forward prior to this game, but they didn’t. For now, Jayson Megna remains the only forward the Avs have called up from the minors this year.
- Some kidding around at Kyle Keefe‘s expense outside the Avs’ room. Keefer took it in good stride.
- Tyson Jost just seems to be back in that bad in-between netherworld of moving around on different lines and not much working, and it’s no doubt frustrating for him and Bednar. I mean, he got a spot on a line with MacKinnon to start the game, and the first period was a disaster. In fairness, everyone was awful in that first period. The Coyotes outshot the Avs 17-8.