This was just one of those nights for the Avalanche. Nothing more, nothing less. A 4-3 loss to the Vancouver Canucks on the night before Thanksgiving. A couple of calls that went against them, leading to some outrage among the fandom – including the person who threw a bag of gummy worms on the ice near the end.
Meh. Yeah, there were a couple of iffy calls against the Avalanche, but I thought they got a couple of questionable ones that went in their favor, too, including a goalie interference call that nullified a Vancouver goal. In the end, I think the final score was right in this one.
“I didn’t like our game,” Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said.
No, he didn’t love the interference call on Cale Makar at 11:28 of the third period, which wiped out an Avalanche power play and helped lead to a Canucks 4-on-4 game-winning goal from Ethan Bear at 12 minutes.
Neither did Makar – but he was the first to admit that griping about officiating is “not the kind of mentality we want to have in here.”
Why did the refs call him for interference though?
“They said I stuck my [butt] out, I don’t think I did there, I don’t know. I feel that that happens quite a bit there in the first period and there is no call. Their bench freaks out, they give us a warning. There was nothing like that tonight. I don’t think I ran into them once, to be honest with you. I just have to find another space on the ice,” Makar said.
Bednar said he agrees with interference when a player moves into an opponent away from the puck. That didn’t happen here, it’s true. Then again, if Makar stuck his butt out and impeded a player’s progress away from the puck, that technically can be construed as interference. Like Makar said, that call can be made three or four times a game probably. It just so happened they called it this time.
Here’s the play:
Cale Makar interference. What a cheater. pic.twitter.com/tgKQFAZbfV
— Chippy Play (@ChippyPlay) November 24, 2022
I think that’s probably a bad call too. But I can see how it might be called. Bottom line: the Avs couldn’t stop Vancouver in the ensuing moments. Pavel Francouz, who had an off night, was beaten cleanly on Bear’s big slap shot. The Avalanche had their chances to tie it, but couldn’t finish and Artturi Lehkonen killed any realistic hope of an equalizer when he too was called for interference with just over a minute to go, a legit call.
Former Avalanche goalie Spencer Martin played very well in getting the win.
“Obviously showed a ton of resilience. Those extended power plays put us under a ton of pressure, but other than that I thought we were the better team. To come back on a team like that is special,” Martin said.
See, that’s the thing: The Avalanche were fortunate to go on a 5-on-3 late in the second period of a 2-2 game, with Makar finally scoring toward the end of it, a huge slapper from the Ovechkin spot. They can’t whine too much about the officiating when they, too, got some calls to go their way.
OTHER NOTES, OBSERVATIONS, TAKEAWAYS
- It’s the usual “we’ll know more tomorrow” situation with Evan Rodrigues, who left the game in the first with a lower-body ailment and didn’t return. He was seen walking without any limp after the game, so hopefully that’s a good sign.
- Valeri Nichushkin, seen on crutches recently, has shed them. Bednar said he hopes he can get back on the ice fairly soon.
- The Avalanche continue to say Bo Byram’s injury is to the lower body, and I have no reason to doubt them. The only thing is, Bednar said he didn’t have any timetable for his return. Yeah, we all worry about concussions with him, but the Avalanche are an up-front team when it comes to injuries, so, again, no reason to doubt them.
- Makar extended his goal streak to three games, his longest run of the season. Makar’s career-best goal streak is five games from Nov. 17-26, 2021. He has recorded 21 points (6g/15a) this season, ranked fourth among NHL defensemen in points and tied for third in goals.
- Oskar Olausson? Didn’t notice him much. Only played 7:07 despite playing on the second line. But Bednar said “I thought he was OK.”
- Avalanche will practice on Thanksgiving at 11:30, then fly to Nashville. It’s a family day for the rest of us here at CHN, so that practice will have to go unattended, sorry.
- Mikko Rantanen recorded his fourth multi-goal game of the season and the 24th of his career. He now has 178 career markers with Colorado, moving into a tie with Matt Duchene for ninth place on the franchise’s all-time goals list and tied with Duchene for sixth since the team moved to Denver.
- Happy Turkey Day everyone.
CHN’s Brennan Vogt contributed to this report