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Takeaways from Colorado Avalanche WCF Game 1 Win

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Colorado Avalanche
Jack Dempsey/AP

My thoughts and observations on the Colorado Avalanche, Game 1 vs the Oilers, and the 8-6 Avs win:

  • So, who’s going to start in goal for Game 2 Thursday? I would bet a fair amount it’ll be Pavel Francouz, no matter what. First off, Darcy Kuemper is injured coming out of Game 1 (upper body) and so that may make the decision real easy for Jared Bednar.
  • But even If Kuemper checks out OK tomorrow? I would bet Bednar will go with Frankie regardless. We’ll see. Just my hunch for now.
  • Even though Frankie let in a couple, he made some really big saves for the Avs. Some of the best were on the Oilers power play, late second period, in a 7-4 game. He made a big stop on Evander Kane right near the end too.
  • Before the injury tonight, Kuemper was really struggling it seemed like. You just get the vibe that Bednar is going to stay with Frankie, at least temporarily.
  • Bednar said he had no further prognosis on Kuemper, but hinted that he might miss some time.
  • I think – again – the Avs relaxed with a big lead at home. This time, unlike Game 5 against the Blues, they got away with it.
  • Devon Toews made some uncharacteristically poor decisions with the puck, especially in the third period. But so did a lot of Avs players.
  • Andre Burakovsky missed some time earlier in the game after blocking a shot. But he returned.
  • J.T. Compher with his second straight multi-goal game.
  • “I don’t think that’s playoff hockey,” Cale Makar told TNT after the game.
  • Bednar, despite the six goals, thought his team checked hard and did a lot of good things defensively. But, things got too scramble in the third, he said.
  • Gabe Landeskog took a bad penalty on Connor McDavid with about eight minutes left in the third, with a 7-5 lead. He’s got to be smarter than that. But he scored the empty-netter this time, at least.
  • “We would prefer not to have an 8-6 game,” Nathan MacKinnon said.
  • But it’s better to win an 8-6 game than lose one.
  • Darcy Kuemper’s save percentage in the playoffs now: .897.
  • The Avs are averaging 4.64 goals-per-game in the postseason, the most among all teams.
  • Andrew Cogliano’s goal stood as the game winner, his team-leading second game-winning goal of the postseason. Cogliano had one game-winning tally in the playoffs prior to this year, against Dallas on April 18, 2014.
  • Francouz: “I didn’t feel cold for like five seconds, I was warm pretty quickly, so that wasn’t an issue. I mean, we all know what kind of players are on these two teams. We didn’t plan to play such a game, but we’ll take this win for sure and move forward.”
  • I don’t know why, but I just never once felt nervous even after it was 7-6. I just don’t fear this Oilers team that much. Not taking them lightly. But just don’t fear them. With the Blues, there was some fear. I’m not trying to jinx the Avs. Just sayin.’
  • This time, with a late third-period lead up only a goal, Bednar had better defensive forwards on the ice than that Game 5 against the Blues.
  • The Colorado Avalanche have won the first game in all three playoff series so far.
  • I was a bit surprised Bednar scratched Nicolas Aube-Kubel in favor of Alex Newhook. But I thought Newhook played a pretty decent game. He chipped in with an assist.
  • Josh Manson (-4, negative puck-possession numbers) had one of those nights.
  • Duncan Keith, -2, not much else going on. Not the player he once was.

 

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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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Ryan Krueger

It’s gotta be our year when an obscure offside rule goes to our advantage. Thought Toews was really bad tonight…

Zach Heiman

Delayed offside is an obscure offside rule? It happens all the time

Bob Mehoff

Haha. Ax Landestupid about it…didn’t help him cost us the Finals appearance in 2019.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4QbgWMNbEow

Rich

I would expect Bednar to work on defensive net coverage tomorrow.

Al

How bout Logan OConnor. That guy is always making something happen

Donald Victory

Extremely streaky and yes he went from junk to a fourth liner riding the pine.

Bob Mehoff

I think his end of season slump, subsequent benching, and reinsertion helped him mentally. After all, he is afourth liner and needs to play like one. But agreed his blind pass set up Helmer and Cogs last two games.

GWood

LOC was a difference maker in that game, for sure…

ricoflashback

Manson had bad luck on one goal but also played a terrible game. The worst I’ve ever seen by him. Geez, that McDavid line is scary. Unbelievable with the puck. You really have to stay with him otherwise he’ll beat you with his speed and strides. Compher is playing well. Nice contributions from Lehkonen, OC and Cogliano.

OK – it wasn’t a Mona Lisa. But I’ll take it.

Bob Mehoff

AD do the Avs not talk about in front of own net coverages? Blues totally exploited it, it is on video, and the Oil clearly did. Does Bednar have the smarts to realize this or can you ax him the question. Please!!!!

dk

Worthy of having an entire cake thrown at it…

Andrzej Kubis

The issue is AVS letting in a lot lately. Oilers high power offence can take advantage of it. Especially if Oilers coach figure it out that AVS usually struggle to score against Koskinen even he is pretty bad goalie. Today apart from the two on one they couldn’t solve him.

D Malingo

Super fun game to watch – just what I expected and hoped for this series. I doubt they’ll all be like this, but this is fun hockey to watch. Very concerning for the Avs though in my opinion – they just don’t have any solid shut down D. Manson was supposed to play that role, but I don’t see that often from him (tonight was especially bad, after he played a great game vs the blues). Anyway, I think they’ll struggle to shut down the Lightning if they make it to the cup, and the Lightning can keep the Avs… Read more »

JD16

Few things. On Toews, in the first (can’t remember the exact circumstances) it looked like he tweaked his leg somehow. I wonder if that was an issue later on when he made those uncharacteristically bad plays and stumbles. Frankie made the saves when the team needed them. Some really good ones too. I was thinking before the series that Bednar should play Newhook, in this more offensively minded series. Though I was surprised he actually did put him in. I thought he played really well, also. I’m loving that Compher is getting on the score sheet. I’ve been critical of… Read more »

John Klingenstein

What do you mean you don’t agree? It was a delayed offsides. Makar batted the puck from the neutral zone side of the ice and didn’t touch it again until Nichushkin had cleared the zone. Who cares how close he was to the puck he didn’t touch it. Clear as day

Donald Victory

You sir are a legend! In you own mind!

Aaron Rud

He hurt his wrist. Frankly, he’s looked off for a long time.

Bob Neal

I also still don’t understand the call but the Avs deserve a break once every playoff year.

Zach Heiman

https://www.sportsnet.ca/nhl/article/offside-or-not-offside-explaining-why-cale-makars-goal-counted/
Good explanation here, tag up/delayed offside. Similar plays happen all the time, they are just generally clear cut dump ins where the other team gets the puck first

JD16

Watched him explain it a few times last night. I get what they’re saying but I don’t agree with the assessment of Makar’s call. So now everyone will just lift their stick whilst entering the zone. Makar was in control the whole time. The puck was was barely off his stick. I can see why the Canadiens play counted. But Makar’s no way. I’m sure there are a TON of offside calls where the puck was less in control.
But like I said. I’ll take it.

Zach Heiman

That only applies to tag up/delayed offsides, which it is rare that it happens when a team is controlling the puck going into the zone. If that was a normal zone entry it’s offside no matter if the player has it on his stick or not. That is why the announcers and even the “rules expert” Koho were initially saying it was offside and the goal would be disallowed.

Flounder

I’ve been saying all year how overrated Kuemper was and that we still had no idea if he would hold up under playoff pressure any better than the shaky Grubauer. But shoot, even I didn’t think he would be this bad! He is just awful. When Kane broke away and left Jack Johnson in the dust I said “that’s going in…”. You just knew it. The team has to feel that way too, which is demoralizing as a player. I agree with you, Adrian. Frankie should get the next start. IMHO, you go with Frankie the rest of the way… Read more »

Aaron Rud

Kuemper wilts under pressure. Some like it, some don’t. He DOES NOT. He does not have the arrogance to want to stick it to the other team. He never has.

dk

In the end, W’s are W’s. But what a f***ing circus. Both teams may as well have played cardboard cutouts in net. Sheesh…

Aaron Rud

Oh where, oh where is Yan Girard?

Karl Keen

He broke his sternum. 🙁

Zach Heiman

Figured he’d be in here fitting mia into Manson’s name. Nice that he isn’t here, his schtick gets old very fast

Aaron Rud

I think you might possibly be thinking of Donald Victory.

Zach Heiman

Er…wrong person ha. Was thinking of Donnie victory. He’s gotten in my head haha

Donald Victory

I have one account one handle sorry to disappoint. However, glad you read and respect my high intelligence! MW!

Zach Heiman

Yeah…never said anything about respecting anything you say

Zach Heiman

Your cutesy pie nicknames and 100% negativity gets super old and just makes you sound like a petulant baby. Sometimes you make some good points but it is always lost in all the garbage you spew

Donald Victory

Well that is MW of you! Peace!

The_Last_Ray_Gun

I don’t understand why everyone rags on Yan? He said all year he didn’t think Kuemper could cut it, and now all of a sudden everyone agrees with him, but still makes fun.

And he loves Sam Girard, whom a very vocal contingent of this site loathes and wanted JJ in, and now JJ is in there blowing goals left and right (and one game, pretty much single-handedly), yet still the bagging on Yan?

I don’t get it.

Aaron Rud

I actually really like Yan. It’s funny how many people dislike any comment that isn’t sucking up to Kuemper. I’ve stated some things, and people always vote a minus(-) on it. Fans are strange. It’s ok to cheer for a team and be critical as well. Really, folks, it’s ok.

Donald Victory

Thank you!

Zach Heiman

The hate towards Sam Girard is laughable on this sites comments. Yes he has some limitations because he is small…but since he has been out Manson has looked lost a lot and JJ…we’ll he’s just JJ

Karl Keen

A win is a win and better to be up 1-0 rather than 0-1. If we can take a positive from this is that Edmonton has no idea how to defend us. I didn’t feel like we let down to the degree we did in Game 5 to the Blues. We came out hard in the third and had several chances to go up 4 goals, but Nuke didn’t put away a solid chance and Kadri couldn’t lift the puck on the breakaway. Their fifth goal was just a series of bad bounces and then if Landy hadn’t committed such… Read more »

Bob Mehoff

Ah, and that is where Bednar comes in…unable to adapt, adopt, adjust.

GWood

Bottom line here is that the Avs have a better overall defense and that should be the difference maker on who makes it out alive. Tampa is a great team, no doubt, but that Avs have got more than they have given over the last few years with them so if that ends up being the final, its going to be a great series and the Avs have as good a chance any anyone. Great hockey game last night.

Bob Mehoff

Wow, that says then that the Oil defense is truly pathetic because Avs is not far in front!

Zach Heiman

Yeah, Maker and Byrum and Toews and EJ are just bums…? Most hockey people understand the Avs have a great defense, maybe a little skewed towards offensive talent, but one of the best defensive groups in the league

Donald Victory

Hahahahah! Avs defense is pitiful!

Zach Heiman

This comment aged well

Demetris Gray

·       Manson played it perfectly on the Kane goal! ·       Toews had a good exit pass to MacK, who scored! ·       Manson had excellent coverage on Hyman goal! ·       Val was not Landesdog on the Makar goal ·       Blowing a 7-3 lead was scripted by Badner ·       Kuemper rebound control was stellar ·       Miakko scored! With a goalie in netts (Mcnab effect) ·       Compher has shown for two games in a row ·       O’Connor always better off to pass than shoot!  ·       Toews was excellent on the McD goal, and MacK lost McD badly ·       Avs powerplay kill was stellar on the RN-H goal ·       Landeskog actually scored on ENG, got the blue… Read more »

Last edited 27 days ago by Demetris Gray

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