The Avs played a well-rounded game Friday night against the Ducks in a 1-0 victory. They had true control of the shot share and dictated tempo over most of the 60 minutes. The Avs had the better share of high danger chances (14 to 6), only to be thwarted by Ducks tendy John Gibson numerous times. He must have had a sheet on the unders I swear. That was vintage John Gibson.
Shutting Them Down
Firstly, our shot suppression was excellent as we can see on the heat map below. We kept their high danger chances to a minimum and gave them next to nothing across the middle. Girard was out there for a whopping 18:15 for even-strength time and allowed just two shots against in that span. Big Z also just allowing two shots in a shade over 16 minutes. A fantastic sign from two guys who aren’t exactly experts in defending their line.
Better Players = Better Product
Secondly, the Avalanche just had better players and more pizzazz on and off the puck. The big line had a combined Corsi of 74.19%, contributing 11 shots on goal. The Ducks did do a good job of keeping Mack shooting at somewhat a distance, although he wasn’t exactly the normal Mack tonight. At least half of his shots I would think he’d want back and his passing wasn’t as sexy as normal. Either way, the big line set the tempo. Martin Kaut turned what was a cheap light beer game into a cold froffie pilsner with a nice predatory sequence, picking off a Hampus Lindholm pass in the offensive zone and finding JT for the eventual game-winner. Game-winning assist for your first point? How ya’ doin!
Frankie Came Good On His Deal
Thirdly, Francouz, fresh of a new contract, decided it would be a good time post his first shutout of his NHL career in a 26-save effort. It wasn’t perfect, he did have some trouble locating the puck and gave up some juicy rebounds. Luckily for him the defense was pretty on it tonight. He often had the space to jump on the puck or had support in clearing it. Frankie, to his credit, did make a few huge stops late in a panicked few minutes. He stoned Rakell in the final moments of the game, from the doorstep, keeping his name prefect.
In a game full of pawns, CZECHMATE!