Connect with us

Colorado Avalanche

Philipp Grubauer Steals a Win

Published

on

ANAHEIM, CALIF. – Forecheck, backcheck, paycheck. And when that fails, a hot goalie stealing you a game. For the Avs, that’s what Philipp Grubauer did tonight.

You need a goalie to bail you out sometimes, and that’s what the German veteran did at the Honda Center, making 36 saves in a 3-2 Avs victory over the Anaheim Ducks.

I’m going to spend the rest of this story making first-person observations instead of writing in a more traditional “game story” format, so here goes:

Bonus Voucher!
  • Jared Bednar said he’s seen Grubauer get to a “new level of determination” so far this season, which is something associates of Grubi told me would be the case entering this season. Tonight, anyway, that was the case. Grubauer knows this is a real chance for him to get to the next level this year, for himself and for the team, and so far he’s played like he wants that. He’s a UFA after this year too, let’s not forget. Aside from that bad third period against the Blues in Game 1, he’s looked sharp and he certainly was the Avs’ best player in this one, as the Avs allowed way too many shots to a mediocre Ducks offense.
  • I actually thought the Avs played a bit better than Bednar seemed to think. In fact, Bednar said “I didn’t think we deserved to win, but Grubauer was outstanding.” But some players had really nice games statistically. Cale Makar, for instance, had 28 Corsi events for and only 6 against. Nathan MacKinnon was 26-14.
  •  But yeah, some others had rough nights with the fancy stats. Ryan Graves, for example, was just 4-14 in the Corsi department. He’s off to a slow start after leading the league in plus-minus. Greg Pateryn was only 9-19.
  • So why didn’t Erik Johnson play, you ask? Well, I guess there was some, as the line from Blazing Saddles goes: “a failure to communicate.” Bednar said after the game that it was never his intention to play Johnson on this road trip, but that he did the other night anyway after the Ian Cole trade. He said Johnson won’t play Sunday, either.
  • I thought the true highlight of the game was Bo Byram’s great pass to Mikko Rantanen for that go-ahead goal in the third period. That was a big-time play, and it was Byram’s first career point.
  • It seems clearer now that the top six, when Johnson is ready, might look like this: Toews-Makar, Girard-Johnson,  Byram-Graves. Or, maybe Byram with Johnson. Or, if Graves falters more, maybe Conor Timmins moves back into the top 6. All I know is, it’s a tough lineup to crack right now.
  • It was another disappointing night on the stat sheet for third-line center J.T. Compher. Just 5-11 in the Corsi department. He’s got to pick things up.
  • Obviously, it was nice to see Gabe Landeskog get rewarded with that OT winner. He played a fine game overall. The whole first line did.
  • I still can’t believe that save John Gibson made on Landy right before the actual game-winner. Cale Makar steals a puck from Gibson, makes a perfect pass to Landy on a 2-on-1 and Landy gets totally robbed. But Landy stuck with it and beat him on the wraparound.
  • Nathan MacKinnon nearly gave the game away with that turnover with about a minute left in regulation. Grubauer bailed him out.
  • Rantanen, as I said last night, looks more fit than he ever has. He has energy at both ends of the rink now, not just the offensive end.
  • The Avs moved within two points of Vegas for the division lead, as the Golden Knights finally lost a game.
  • Andre Burakovsky remains listed as day-to-day.

Here are some game highlights:

Subscribe to CHN+ today!

Adrian Dater - Kiss and Larry Bird fan. Writer with @Gambling and @Bookies. Previously Denver Post, SI, Bleacher Report to name just a few.

12 Comments
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
12 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Rich

Dater – Why does it appear the Avs tend to play down to their opponents? I think you could agree the Avs have and were outplayed by the Kings last night and Ducks tonight to which neither are playoff caliber teams. What’s going on with Graves?

Matt Briggle

Overall, they played a good final 20 mins, but other than than that not a very good showing. Should be an interesting day of film and meetings today for them. I was really impressed with Byram and the confidence that grew in him just after one game. I can’t wait to see him once he starts getting comfortable in the league and asserting himself the way he is capable of. On a broadcasting note, we have AT&T TV but we couldn’t find ALT2 where the game was broadcast tonight so we had to revert to last year’s tricks to watch… Read more »

Ricardo

The first line is awesome, but where are the others?– especially the second line. No foot speed and no chemistry. This must change.

Grogger

Good insight on Grubauer’s strong start. It feels like the team overall is still finding its groove, but I’m optimistic they will. “Failure to communicate” is from Cool Hand Luke, not Blazing Saddles.

[…] loses a game with the inexperienced Miska in net again. I have no doubt that Grubauer doesn’t mind the extra work. I mean, it’s not like he and any other hockey player have been overworked in […]

[…] he loses a game with the inexperienced Miska in net again. I have no doubt that Grubauer doesn’t mind the extra work. I mean, it’s not like he and any other hockey player have been overworked in […]

[…] he loses a game with the inexperienced Miska in net again. I have no doubt that Grubauer doesn’t mind the extra work. I mean, it’s not like he and any other hockey player have been overworked in […]

[…] he loses a game with the inexperienced Miska in net again. I have no doubt that Grubauer doesn’t mind the extra work. I mean, it’s not like he and any other hockey player have been overworked in […]

[…] he loses a game with the inexperienced Miska in net again. I have no doubt that Grubauer doesn’t mind the extra work. I mean, it’s not like he and any other hockey player have been overworked in […]

[…] he loses a game with the inexperienced Miska in net again. I have no doubt that Grubauer doesn’t mind the extra work. I mean, it’s not like he and any other hockey player have been overworked in […]

[…] he loses a game with the inexperienced Miska in net again. I have no doubt that Grubauer doesn’t mind the extra work. I mean, it’s not like he and any other hockey player have been overworked in […]

Colorado's premier coverage of the Avalanche from professional hockey people. Adrian Dater, Editor-in-Chief. Part of the National Hockey Now family.

This site is in no way associated with the Colorado Avalanche or the NHL. Copyright © 2019 National Hockey Now and Adrian Dater.

Send this to a friend