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Game Review

Postgame Avs-Canucks: Just not quite good enough



David Zalubowski/AP

Well, so much for the Avs setting the all-time NHL record for wins in a season. Had they gone 18-0 the rest of the way, it would have happened. Alas, it won’t, as the Avs lose 3-1 to the Vancouver Canucks at Ball Arena.

My main takeaway from the game: Avs probably took them a little lightly. I thought the Avs might come out and put Vancouver away early, but it just never happened. Once it got late in the game and still scoreless, it became one of those “anything can happen” kinds of things, and what happened was Vancouver got a couple of goals and held on with veteran Jaroslav Halak in net.

Everything was just a little off for the Avs tonight. Passes were a little behind guys, a half-second too late, etc. Avs couldn’t finish much around the net. The final minute and a half, when Darcy Kuemper was pulled, didn’t go well, as the Avs only got set up once I believe, for one Makar shot from the point.

Just not good enough tonight. It happens. The conference and division titles are wrapped up, though, so I’m certainly not worried about the loss. I think this was one night where the Avs really missed their captain, Gabe Landeskog, especially late in the game.

Avs have been a little less efficient in getting pucks out of their zone of late, too, and I think the loss of Sam Girard has been noticeable there. For all the grief Girard gets sometimes, the fact is he is great at skating the puck out of the zone when he gets it. Avs were just a little too slow with the puck out of their end tonight. They also turned the puck over too much.

Josh Manson had another poor-to-mediocre showing, but I’m not real worried about him. He’s still getting used to the Avs’ systems and needs a bit of a learning curve here before we can actually get worried about him. But, yeah, he obviously needs to be better. His turnover led to Vancouver’s first goal, by Brock Boeser.

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I thought Andrew Cogliano played well in his Avs debut, nearly scoring in the first period.

Again, it was one of those nights. This team is going to get a little bored at times until the end of the regular season. It happened tonight.

I expect a strong bounce-back win Friday against the Flyers. We should see Artturi Lehkonen make his Avs debut in that one. His immigration paperwork still wasn’t quite done today. But I would expect by Friday, he’ll be good to go.


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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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Matt Briggle

Back up goalies are clearly the Avs Kryptonite. I don’t have any major problems with Manson to this point, it’s a new system, new teammates, new reads, and mistakes will happen. He’s a really good and proud player, things will get cleaned up and when the back end starts getting healthy in a couple of weeks this will be a distant memory. Take this game tape and use it to teach the new guys, get a good practice in tomorrow, and get back at it on Friday.


Cannucks played “must win” hockey. We did something else…


Agree about Girard. Looking forward to seeing Lehkonen.


The Canucks were a hungry team that played an “in your face” defensive game. If you look at the goals the Avs gave up, one was on an unforced turnover (unpressured, fumbling of the puck) by Manson and the other was a turnover with the defenseman pinching in and losing containment. That lead to an odd man rush and a goal. Lehkonen might have made a difference last night but the player who really thrives in tight games like this is our captain – – Gabriel Landeskog. Excellent game by Sturm and an incredible move to setup Cogliano – –… Read more »

Last edited 6 months ago by ricoflashback

It was also a line and pairing blender tonight – I like that Bednar is mixing it up. As the new guys get acclimated, and actually here, the remainder of the regular season should get our lines stabilized and gelling.

Karl Keen

We are at that point in the season where we will be playing teams fighting for a playoff spot and thus playing playoff hockey. We need get up for these games. Home ice is important and it could matter in the finals if we get there. Manson is feeling some pressure to get the puck up the ice as fast as possible to fit his game to our style of play. He needs to take a deep breath and just be smart. Compher didn’t help him by going up the ice so close to him that it allowed the Vancouver… Read more »

John Mauss

Perceptive comments on both aspects of Manson,s turnover.

Bob Neal

Sage comments by AD and the posts. Manson is trying to fit into the Av’s style of play and not sufficiently thinking about what he is doing. I’m sure he will be fine. I never thought I agree with you regarding Girard comments but I did last night. Why can’t we have defensemen with Manson’s physical style of play combined with Sammies puck handling skill? Back to reality, I hope they don’t wear out Makar as he looked tired by the end of the game and we really miss Landy as he not only creates traffic in front but is… Read more »


Question: “Why can’t we have defensemen with Manson’s physical style of play combined with Sammies puck handling skill?”

Answer: We did – – his name was Raymond Bourque. And a great shot, as well!


Rob Blake too.


The first line played about 25 minutes each in this game. They’ve been playing heavy minutes all season long too. This I really worry about. And tonight they looked beat at the end. We don’t want them in this shape going into the post season. That’s a heavy strech ahead. It reminds me of that record breaking Tampa Bay Lightning regular season after which they fell 0-4 in the first round of the Playoffs. After that they learned and managed the ice time for the best players and won two Cups in a row. They didn’t care too much about… Read more »

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