Joel Quenneville, who coached the Avalanche and Blues, always used to say, “You don’t score on a 5-on-3, you’re probably not going to win the hockey game.”
That goes even more for not scoring on a 6-on-3.
Alas, the Avalanche did not quite deserve to win this otherwise entertaining hockey game. Despite a 5-on-3 power-play advantage with just inside two full minutes left – increased to 6-on-3 after pulling the goalie – the Avalanche couldn’t get the equalizer against Jordan Binnington. The final from Ball Arena was 3-2 Blues.
- The killer goal against in this one was the one to Brandon Saad with time running out in the second period. A harmless looking shot deflected off Cale Makar’s stick and snuck through to make it 2-1 with 1:01 left.
- Binnington made 45 saves in the win. He was the difference in the final analysis. He made a couple of highway-robbery type saves.
- Alex Newhook was benched most of the third period (until, weirdly, playing a lot in the final two minutes) and Jared Bednar said, “He’s not playing up to the standard I’ve set for him.”
- Newhook has three points in 14 games, a -4. He played well in those two wins in Finland, but is back in Bednar’s doghouse.
- “Too many turnovers. Not skating and attacking,” Bednar added.
- I thought Andreas Englund looked pretty good for a first game with the team following a recall from the Eagles. He played 11 pretty solid minutes overall.
- Cale Makar: “I feel like we did a lot of good things. We did the right things to win that game. Obviously, a couple of unfortunate errors by me and unfortunate bounce off my stick in the net. Like I said, it’s hockey so you’re probably going to get those back at some point. For us, definitely [an] easily winnable game. I feel like we did everything right, just couldn’t come out with it.”
- On the 5 and 6-on-3, Evan Rodrigues said, “We just didn’t score. We did everything we wanted to. There was a few bouncing pucks, but just didn’t score.”
- Mikko Rantanen also extended his point streak to five games, accumulating 16 points (8g/8a) over that stretch. He has produced 20 points (9g/11a) in seven home contests this season. Only four players in NHL history have recorded 20 points at home in fewer games: Mario Lemieux (4 games 1988-89, 5 games in 1995-96 & 6 games in 1992-93), Wayne Gretzky (5 games in 1986-87 & 6 games in 1983-84), Pat LaFontaine (6 games in 1992- 93) and Mike Bossy (6 games in 1984-85).
- Rantanen’s shot on his goal was a real beauty. Long wrister far post, from the right side.
- Avs sent Sampo Ranta, Martin Kaut and Jayson Megna back to the Eagles. It could largely be another cap move(s) though.
- I thought Ryan O’Reilly had a great two-way game for the Blues.
- Sam Girard didn’t skate today, but is scheduled to do so on Tuesday.