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Game Review

Takeaways from Avs win over Tampa Bay: Makar and MacKinnon shine

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Chris O'Meara/AP

Well, I think Cale Makar and Nathan MacKinnon are starting to feel a little better. Whoever that impostor that occupied Makar’s uniform the previous two games has been properly exorcised, while MacKinnon looks like MacKinnon again. For the Avs, their best players were their best players, to quote the team’s first coach, Marc Crawford.

It all added up to a satisfying 4-3 shootout victory, with Makar winning it (picture above).

My takeaways:

  • Makar was excellent all night, despite being on the ice for one goal against. After being a minus-8 the previous two games, he did Cale Makar things again, going plus-2 with two assists and the SO winner. That goal against wasn’t his fault really. It was the fault of Mikhail Maltsev, who failed to get a puck in deep while Makar and Bo Byram were heading off for a line change, but Maltsev’s turnover led to them having to scramble back, too late for the goal against.
  • The Avs lost the Corsi battle, as most players had negative Corsi numbers, but I don’t think the game was as one-sided as the flow chart looks. The Avs had a lot of good scoring chances, I thought.
  • I thought Steven Stamkos took a cheap shot on Sam Girard in the game, hitting him first with a questionable bodycheck into the boards. Then, while he was sitting on top of him, Stamkos punched Girard in the back of the head. I hope the league takes a hard look at it.
  • Makar said he noticed that the goalie “wasn’t down yet” and he took advantage of that with a good low shot.
  • MacKinnon had a goal and two assists in a very strong game.
  • Darcy Kuemper, who made 29 saves: “They tied it up twice there in the third, but we just kind of stuck with our game.”
  • Jared Bednar: “We had to play some desperate hockey here. You need the points. I thought it was a real good hockey game, by both teams. I liked the way our guys played. Our guys got a reward for doing things right.
  • Bednar said he did not have an update on Girard. Bednar said he hadn’t seen the replay yet, when asked about the Stamkos hit.
  • Bednar: “That was Cale’s best game so far. Still not perfect…but getting better every game.”
  • I did not like Maltsev’s game, and I suspect Bednar didn’t either. He was a minus-2 and didn’t even play seven minutes in the game. His turnovers led to two goals.
  • I definitely think J.T. Compher is playing some good hockey right now. While he didn’t get any points, he almost set up a Darren Helm goal, and he prevented a goal with a deflection of a Corey Perry shot.
  • Ryan Murray gave away the puck right before Perry had an open net, when Compher got a stick on it. Murray has not impressed so far, and I think he might be the guy who sits when Devon Toews comes back, which should be soon.
  • Andre Burakovsky, who played on the fourth line, had another rough game. His Corsi events for-against was 4-9 and he took an interference penalty in the first period.
  • I thought Erik Johnson had one of his better games so far, even though he finished a minus-1. He had 16 Corsi events for, 15 against.

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