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Game Review

Avs lose final home game, but the real games to begin soon enough



jared bednar
David Zalubowski/AP

It seemed like the longest regular season in history, but the Avs wrapped up their incredible season – at home, anyway – with a shootout loss to the Nashville Predators. This game featured quite a few storylines for a potential playoff matchup battle, starting with quite a battle for the Norris Trophy.

Cale Makar entered the contest with 27 goals, 58 assists and six game-winning goals while Roman Josi has 22 goals, 71 assists and two game-winning goals.  Makar got the scoring started making it 28 on the season. Josi also punched one in tonight keeping the debate alive. It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out for votes and who takes home the hardware.

On this night, a weak power play was the difference – in a negative way – in the Avs’ 41st home regular-season game. It’ll have to be better for the postseason, which should start Monday or Tuesday at Ball Arena and, it’ll be Dallas as the opponent if the Preds get one point in Friday’s game with Anaheim – or if Dallas fails to get two points, against Arizona.

“It felt like we were on the power play almost every other shift tonight,” said Makar ” Which is not going to be the case come playoff time. But you have to be able to capitalize in those scenarios because this was a playoff-like atmosphere game.”

The Avs were the faster, better team all night but the score didn’t reflect it. The Avs outshot the Preds for most of the game but the Preds kept crawling back. All four lines were rolling tonight and had chances but no one could put this game away. To say the Avs seemed to have gotten under the Preds’ skin would be an understatement. (Example: Sam Girard being thrown down to the ice after the third goal was scored and seven penalties overall). It was an off night for Darcy Kuemper but it didn’t seem to bother coach Jared Bednar. 

“I had no problem with our game through two periods. None. Zero. I thought we played well, especially through two periods. We didn’t give up hardly any scoring chances,” said Bednar “The difference in the hockey game to be fair, was Kemps had an off night”

Fan appreciation night is one of my favorite nights. I remember coming to this game growing up and when the Avs were in the midst of their “rough” seasons. It’s always fun to see the kids getting excited for a signed puck, an autographed stick or a jersey off a player’s back. The Avs continue to take care of their fans. 

  • Nathan MacKinnon looks poised and ready for some playoff hockey. 
  • When the Avs play a hard physical game they draw a lot of penalties.
  • J.T. Compher has himself a nice 5 game point streak going. 
  • Avs drew seven penalties tonight while taking five of their own. 
  • They need to keep the lead in these type of games. There have been too many third-period goals against lately. 
  • Josi vs. Makar…who has your vote?
  • Bednar said he would give a “handful” of guys a night off in Minnesota tomorrow. Avs will call up a guy or two from the Eagles for the game against the Wild, with Jacob MacDonald expected to be one of them.
  • Pavel Francouz will start against the Wild, Bednar said.
  • Avs set a franchise record in points with 119. 

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