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Avalanche Game 37 Plus/Minus: This is Ugly



Canucks Avalanche

One of these days I will get to write about an Avalanche win.

That day is not today.

A solid start was undone by a nightmarish eight minutes in the second period, as the Avalanche gave up three straight goals to the Canucks on the way to their fifth straight loss.

As with every game, you take the good with the bad, so time to take a look at the pluses and the minuses in the game against the Canucks.

– Devon Toews

During the second period meltdown, Mr. Dependable became anything but that.

With about 8:29 left in the second period, Toews was chasing down an iced puck by the Canucks.

Except he stopped chasing it down.

He would get beat to the puck by Jack Studnicka, negating the icing. Moments later, Toews took a hooking penalty. The Canucks scored on the ensuing powerplay to start the comeback.

Later in the period, with the game tied, Toews tried to go up the middle behind his own net. The puck hit a Canucks skate and bounce around after a good chance, only for Boeser to find a loose puck and beat Georgiev.

When Toews isn’t going, there’s a good chance the Avalanche aren’t going to win. He’s too important.

+ Alexandar Georgiev

You cannot pin this one on the Avalanche goaltender.

Even in the first period, he had to make huge saves, including a nice save on a wide open Pettersson without a stick. The Avalanche gave up 19 shots in the second period alone, and were completely undisciplined.

In the third period, when the team should be pushing for the lead, they still managed to give up another 11 shots on net. Georgiev did what he could to hold them in it.

Georgiev hâd a tough start after the Holiday break, but the last two games has shown signs of rounding back into form. The team in front of him has not.

– Most of the Forward Core

Simply put, the Avalanche are very top heavy at the moment. And you have to wonder if the right move, at least for now, is breaking up MacKinnon and Rantanen.

Until they get some forwards back, they are in a tough spot. Against the Canucks, seven of the 12 forwards dressed did not register a shot on net. Unfortunately, one of those players was Denis Malgin, who left the game very early due to injury, but you get the point.

Valeri Nichushkin and Evan Rodrigues are close to coming back, which should help, but even then it might be something to consider to help spread things out a bit.

The only goal Ben Meyers has scored this year came off his chest. Logan O’Connor hasn’t scored in 25 games. Martin Kaut has one goal in 23 games. Some of these depth guys have to start chipping in on the scoresheet to take some pressure off the big guns.

– Undisciplined Hockey

You can say whatever you want about the reffing, but seven penalties in one game is undisciplined hockey.

We have no idea what Andrew Cogliano said to the referee to get a 10 minute misconduct, and we probably never will, but that’s a veteran leader on the team losing his cool. Soon after, the entire team melted down.

Were the two related? It’s hard to say, but this was one game where the Avalanche sure seemed to be missing their Captain.

+ Mikko Rantanen

It’s a real shame he was not picked to the All-Star game.

Cale Makar is a superstar. We all know that. But Rantanen is this teams MVP and has been all season long. He deserved to get the call from the NHL rather than having to depend on a fan vote.

And against the Canucks, he was once again the driving force offensively. A team high 14 shot attempts. A team high nine shots on goal (next closest was four). With another goal, he accounts for 24.5% of the Avalanche’s goals on the year.

Time for the rest of the team to help him out a bit.

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