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Game Review

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

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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:

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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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Adrian Dater - Kiss and Larry Bird fan. Writer with @Gambling and @Bookies, Avs Insider with 104.3 The Fan. Denver Post, SI, Bleacher Report alum, author of seven books.

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Yan Girard

I’m disapointed with the game of Kadri since the start of season. Tonight, he scored a goal but very often he shoots the puck a bit anywhere or loses the puck. He aborts the games. The last year, Kadri had shown signs of slowing down and the things seem to go in this direction again this season. I liked the speed of MacDonald as forward. He had several scoring chances. Good night also for LOC. Overall, I believe that it was the best performance since the start of the season. The team seemed to have a better cohesion/chemistry. The support,… Read more »

ricoflashback

Good things happen when you move your feet and play for a full sixty minutes. MacDonald was excellent tonight. When Girard comes back, MacTimid will sit. When Toews comes back, Murray will sit. Even though Murray played his best game as an Av – I don’t know how you keep MacDonald out of the lineup. Lots of energy, there, as well as a good skater. Not afraid to mix it up.

Is it possible for Kuemper to play one, clean game without giving up a cheapie goal?

Rich

Well I won’t get fined but the refs so far this season have not only been inconsistent but flat out terrible.

Luke Waggoner

I’ve got to disagree with your assessment of DK tonight AD. I thought he was really good, and other than the 5-hole goal, I’ve got no problems with the ones he let in. A rocket from Tarasenko or a seam-pass one-timer to the bottom of the circle? No problem on either side. One question I do have though: Why didn’t the Avs get the rest of their first power-play after the offside goal was called back? They set the game clock back to where it was at the time of the offside, but not the penalty clock. The Avs had… Read more »

Catatafish

Did that actually happen? With the penalty clock not set back :0

Luke Waggoner

Yep, it did. They should have been due another :10 of PP time, but when play resumed, it was 5-on-5.

JD16

Finally… This teams game is really when they’re on the forecheck. Other teams just can’t keep up with them, when they are.
The Kadri 10 is absolute BULL. Ten minutes for chirping….that seems right. Especially when the other guy swings his stick at your face.

JD16

Also. Whoever put the hex on Landy’s face needs to be found. It’s getting comical how often it happens. Jeesh.

dk

The manchild Binnington should have gotten a game misconduct for swinging that stick like that. He should at least get fined by the league.

But it seems Kadri’s reputation is really coming back to haunt him. Zebras threw the book at him last night. And he has to fight twice for the Faulk hit? That fight was pathetic too. I mean, if you’re going to fight Kadri for that lick he gave, at least beat the guy up. Otherwise send in the guy that can actually get that done, like Bortuzzo. Schenn and Faulk were terrible in those fights.

Aaron Hinton

They’re both a couple wannabe tough guys. Losers. That was the most heart anyone from that team showed last night. Avs were in complete control, surprisingly.

Aaron Hinton

This “lunchbox” lineup that Bednar put out there was very effective against “The Lou” last night. Enjoyable to watch.

Ted Grycel

I just plain out enjoyed this game. The Av’s out worked the other team and deserved the win. It was too good of a game to be critical of anyone or anything. Every player was involved, I’m sure we could find all kinds of faults with everyone if we look hard enough. I can’t get over Bo Byram and Logan O’Conner, and what they bring, you talk about playing confident. Compher, whom I thought had nothing, showed up big. Loved the comment “lunchbox”, yep the lunchbox boys came to play ! So glad to see McDonald finally get some minutes,… Read more »

Joshua Canfield

AD, so I don’t like jumping to conclusions and I really try to give players the benefit of doubt yet I’m a little worried about Kuemper. I know his first few games, he didn’t have a solid D in front of him. Yet, last night’s game he just looked “okay”. Do you know what Frankie’s time-line looks like?

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