So…..51 shots on net to 23 and still not good enough. The Kuemper effect was real but the Avalanche also didn’t quite help themselves either, especially early and down the stretch. Some analysis:
Mixed Feelings, Man
Whether it be the back-to-back factor or not, the Avalanche were very tardy in their own end through the first 40 tonight. Arizona’s first two goals were caused by this very thing, lackluster effort in the defensive zone and lack of attention to detail.
Sure it’s hockey and things happen at a high pace and mistakes happen, but the Avalanche are NOT a good team chasing the scoreboard. Arizona held a 22-1-4 record this season when leading after 40 and in contrast, the Avs were 1-13-3. Yes, i know allowing two goals through the first two periods isn’t a biggie, however, Arizona is a team that really relies on good goaltending and opportunistic offense to punch out victories, the Avs kinda handed them that.
As fun as it is watching the Avs play downhill in the third period, the truth is they don’t actually come back and win in that situation often. This is what the Coyotes want. They are more than happy to chance their luck on riding a hot goalie and to pounce on errors in order to win, it’s just how they play. Normally 51 shots would see four, maybe five tallies on the scoreboard but this Yotes’ team just finds ways to frustrate the hell out of teams.
For the 51 shots, could the Avalanche had done better? Gravy was denied by an extra lick of paint early on and two more posts didn’t help the cause, but the really clear cut high danger chances just weren’t there today. Arizona just clogged everything up. There is never any room in the offensive zone, it sucks any potential creativity out of the forward group.