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Game Review

Avalanche look like themselves again in 4-3 win over Blues

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makar mackinnon avalanche
Jeff Roberson/AP

ST. LOUIS – Well, that was more like it, wasn’t it? The Avalanche came into this old, midwestern city looking for new life, and they found it.

The Avs beat the Blues, 4-3 in a game that wasn’t nearly as close as that score indicates. With 3:49 left in the game, the Avs only led 4-3, but I wasn’t worried. Well, maybe just a fraction of a millimeter I was.

The shots to that point in the contest were 41-16 Avs. Only some iffy goaltending from Darcy Kuemper prevented this thing from being the blowout it should have been. Overall, though, a great win for an Avs team that had the jarring news that Mikko Rantanen wouldn’t be able to play, as a late scratch.

The Avs got two goals from J.T. Compher and one each from Cale Makar and Nazem Kadri. Makar’s goal came not long after the Blues had cut an Avs lead to 3-2 in the third period.

The Avs even got…wait for it…a power-play goal in this one. From Compher, a great shot from the bumper position after a feed from Nathan MacKinnon.

The Avs also got the satisfaction of getting inside the head again of Jordan Binnington. Here is his second-period swing of the stick against Kadri:

 

OBSERVATIONS AND TAKEAWAYS

  • Jacob MacDonald actually played a very good game as a forward on the fourth line, with Jayson Megna and Darren Helm. MacDonald had 17 Corsi events for, 7 against. Very good.
  • Great blocked shot by Logan O’Connor right before the buzzer, on Torey Krug, to keep any shot away from Kuemper.
  • That’s why the Avs won this game, more than anything. It looked like they just wanted it more than the Blues.
  • Bo Byram was really, really good. 24-7 in Corsi. Really good decision-making with the puck. Outstanding game.
  • Cale Makar? Outstanding. 26-9 in Corsi, ran the power play great, scored the game-winner.
  • Makar finished with two points (1g/1a) to reach 100 for his career. Makar ties Sergei Zubov as the sixth-fastest defenseman (108 games) to hit the century mark behind Harry Cameron (88), Mark Howe (94), Brian Leetch (102), Larry Murphy (105) and Phil Housley (106).
  • Nazem Kadri on the incident with Binnington: “I have no idea why I get a 10-minute penalty there. We had some words, he swung a stick in my face and I get a 10-minute penalty. I’m getting misconducts for just talking now.”
  • Seriously, how the hell does Kadri get a misconduct on that? The referees this year are….well, no comment.
  • I don’t want to get fined either.
  • Compher: “It was good. We’re not clicking right now like we want on the power play, but we’re working on it.”
  • Sampo Ranta thought he had his first career goal in the first period, but no. Further review showed Byram was offside.
  • Re: Kuemper: I don’t know why he hasn’t really looked “great” in any game so far. He’s won three games, though, so let’s give him more time. He let in a couple of softies tonight, though, and continues to give up at least three a night most nights.
  • Bednar on Rantanen: Day-to-day, lower-body injury.
  • Bednar said, as the referees explained it, that Kadri got the misconduct for “escalating” the situation more with Binnington, verbally.
  • Ok, whatever.

The final sheet:

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