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Avs Game Analysis

Colorado Avalanche Blow A Game On Long Island

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Colorado Avalanche

ELMONT, N.Y. – The Colorado Avalanche are going over to Finland all of next week to be good ambassadors for the game of hockey and, ostensibly, to enjoy themselves as reigning Stanley Cup champions. But there might just be a bag skate or two in the players’ near-term future after a total collapse against the New York Islanders in a game that seemed well in the bag before that.

Blowing a three-goal lead built through the first half of the hockey game, the Avalanche left the UBS Center as losers tonight. The final from Money-Makin’ Strong Island: Islanders 5, Colorado Avalanche 4.

Instead of a perfectly respectable 5-3-1 record heading to Finland, the Avalanche are the definition of mediocrity so far, at 4-4-1. It was already going to be a long plane ride to Helsinki tomorrow night. After this meltdown, the flight just got longer.

Superstreak Bonus!

Let’s make one thing perfectly clear: this loss was not on Alexandar Georgiev. He made 39 saves, many of them of the standing-on-head variety.

As I see it, this loss happened because:

  • They sat back, for sure, after taking a 3-0 lead, on Evan Rodrigues’ second goal of the night at 8:33 of the second. His tip of Nathan MacKinnon’s shot from the point prompted a timeout by Islanders coach Lane Lambert. Whatever he said should be bottled and sold as a rejuvenation tonic, because the Islanders put on their workboots after that and, yeah, outworked the Avs from there.
  • Colorado just seemed to put the brakes on what got them the lead in the first place, and, starting with a Noah Dobson slap shot from the right side, the Islanders filled the vaccuum. The Avalanche still had a 3-1 lead entering the third but they seemed to get tired.
  • The fact that Jared Bednar seems to have no faith in his fourth line right now might have contributed to that fatigue. The trio of Kurtis MacDermid, Mikhail Maltsev and Martin Kaut barely played in the third period. Not rolling four lines is naturally going to potentially cause more fatigue on the other forwards, and that’s how they seemed in the third.
  • The killer goal, in my opinion, was the tying goal by former DU Pioneer Scott Mayfield at 10:39 of the third. The foursome of MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen, Sam Girard and Bo Byram were pinned in their zone for what seemed like two minutes, eventually leading to a backdoor goal by Mayfield. MacKinnon had an easy chance to clear the puck when everybody was exhausted, but instead of just clearing it, he tried to make a pass to the middle of the ice and had it picked off. That started the Islanders’ cycle all over again and it finally finished in the back of the Avalanche net.
  • It was a rough night for Girard, who was a minus-3 and caught out of position on a couple goals. He was also just too soft in front of the net on the Islanders’ second goal, though I thought Georgiev was interfered with on the goal, by old nemesis Zach Parise.
  • At least Alex Newhook finally got a point on the season. He scored with 29.9 seconds left to make it 5-4 and the Avalanche came close to tying it in the final seconds. But Varlamov, once again, beat his former team.
  • Varly’s best save of the night, among many, was a stone-cold gangster stop on Andrew Cogliano late in the third. It was a left pad stop of a doorstop chance, and it kept it a 4-3 game for New York.
  • Look, this team is playing without one full line, basically, with Gabe Landeskog, Valeri Nichushkin and Darren Helm all out. Nights like this are going to happen. But this was a loss that just made the Finland trip a little less fun. This is a championship team that shouldn’t blow 3-0 leads, even with a few injuries.
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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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Bob Neal

not supposed to lose games when you are up 3-0 almost 40 minutes through the game. Yes, they only have one line but the D seemed to break down tonight also. I agree with your bullet on Girard. Personally, I think that there is $8.5 million in salary on the team that is not performing very well. They sure could use Jack Johnson right now. It’s hard to believe they are losing these games when Georgie is playing so well.

Victory Donald

Pitiful game.  Bednar has no brain and had little to lose to challenge the third goal. And MacKinnon was bad again. Now the highest paid player in the league, but MacDavid is crushing him. Girard did not break his sternum last year, he broke his labia and it has not healed. He sucks and that is the danger in long-term deals. Newhook got his garbage goal. Seems erratic and overwhelmed plays underwhelmed. Kaut needs to go bring in OO and give him a shot. Amazing the Avs depth is nil. Another alleged top six forward goes down then what? The concept of the core is interesting, but… Read more »

Victory Donald

We did? 2001?

John Hansen

Why do you follow the Avs? If you really think insults and criticism qualify as insight, then cut loose on Twitter. Stop watching hockey all together if it makes you so miserable. Please.

dq1983

Every troll needs a bridge and this must be a special one to live under.

Good on ya, Donnie Hot-Take. Eat a Snickers.

Trenton Dunn

Sounds like you should play next game. We need your athletic prowess out there. We’re all counting on you. Go Avs

Victory Donald

Does he know he sucked?

MacKinnon had an easy chance to clear the puck when everybody was exhausted, but instead of just clearing it, he tried to make a pass to the middle of the ice and had it picked off. That started the Islanders’ cycle all over again and it finally finished in the back of the Avalanche net.

Thomas Wilgus

Yes, it’s hindsight but the Avs should have cleared cap space by moving Girard and signing Kadri. Nazim brought an edge and is one of the best finishers in pro sports. As reigning SC Champions, the Avs are going to face every opponents best effort and they are not the same team without their captain, Landeskog.

Victory Donald

Thank you Captain Obvious for your wisdom and wit. You do not think they tried to rid Girard? No takers. And that is getting more unlikely. ERod has one less goal than Kadri so far. It is the rest of the scrums and the alleged top line not producing.

MacKinnon is a one trick poney Sucks in many ways!

GWood

Did MacKinnon steal your girlfriend or something? Talk about obsession…

Aaron Rud

Actually, they surprisingly DID NOT try to trade Girard.

Doug

I wish we could get some behind the scenes insight into Val’s (apparent foot) injury. Does he still have chronic pain and will it never really heal despite custom boots a la Forsberg?

GWood

That game was gaaaaabage.

harris umar

Dudes like there was totally interference on the 3rd goal and I’m shocked as to why Bednar never challenged that and honestly like at least Makar embarrased Barzal by poke checking the puck off his stick and Byram embarrassed Barzal by ankle braking Barzal dude I mean at least those were solid highlights from the game dude. I mean here is the absolute devastatingly crushing truth dude: NOBODY else tried to defend against Barzal or poke the puck off his stick dude. Honestly it was the ref’s fault why we lost they clearly rigged the game against us like they… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by harris umar
Ted Grycel

What’s interesting is the Avs were 4-4-1 last year in the first 9 games as well, so the record means absolutely nothing. New players coming in have no chemistry yet so it’s way too early to press the panic button. I do have doubts about Newhook and his ability to play 2C, does he look any better in person than on TV A.D.? Helm is missed especially on the PK, and Landy on the offense. Hopefully Val will be back in the next couple games. MacKinnon tries to do it himself a little much but I think it has to… Read more »

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