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Game Review

Avs outscore Flyers. That’s the good news from a sloppy game

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Matt Slocum/AP

Yeah, the Avalanche really need a top-2 goalie back in the lineup, pronto. In four games on this Eastern road trip, the Avs have allowed 20 goals, which sources tell me is an average of five against per game. When you’re playing a terrible team like the Philadelphia Flyers, you can get away with that. Not against good teams, they won’t.

Then again, the Avs are playing with AHL-caliber goalies right now, so you can’t get overly picky with a 7-5 win like tonight.

Hey, credit to the kid, Justus Annunen, for getting the win in his first NHL start. He even got an assist in the game, on a ridiculous Cale Makar goal in the first period. But, yeah, the Avs have problems between the pipes right now. The good news? I expect Darcy Kuemper and Pavel Francouz to be the 1-2 goalies for the team again no later than the weekend.

Annunen allowed five goals on 32 shots for the win, with the Avs getting 50 shots on net on the porous Flyers defense. If the Flyers thought they might get a lift from making a coaching change earlier in the day, it was of the dead-cat-bounce variety. Philly is just a terrible team right now, and the Avs did what they had to do to get two points. But there was a lot of self-criticism afterward.

“We’re giving up more right now than we want, to be honest,” said Erik Johnson, who scored a goal and was good overall. “We just can’t outscore everyone. Can’t play like that the rest of the year. We need to clean it up.”

Actually, I thought the Avs’ top four guys on defense were real good, including Johnson, Makar, Devon Toews and Sam Girard. It’s just…well, the goaltending isn’t good right now. But I think that will change soon. It better, for the Avs’ sake.

“We’ll take the two points, but there’s certainly areas of our game where we need to be better,” Avs coach Jared Bednar said.

OTHER THOUGHTS AND OBSERVATIONS:

  • It’s nice to see Tyson Jost scoring some goals again. I liked the way he played tonight.
  • Makar said it’s “little things that keep popping up” with his injuries. But he also indicated that he’s got a more lingering injury of some kind.
  • Nathan MacKinnon put eight shots on net in the game. But none went in. He’s still stuck at one goal on the season.
  • 23 minutes for Devon Toews, two assists. The guy was just an absolute steal of a trade acquisition by Joe Sakic.
  • Darcy Kuemper took shots today at the morning skate. I think there’s a chance he’ll play Wednesday against the Rangers. Well, I mean, of course, there’s a chance. But I think there’s a pretty good chance, is what I meant to say.
  • Another game, another goal for Alex Newhook. You can really see the confidence building in the kid.

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