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Avalanche Game 18 Plus/Minus: The Ref Show, Drouin’s Best



Canucks Avalanche

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 for the Colorado Avalanche.

– The Ref Show

I really did not want to talk about that second period, but I can’t hold back. That was absolutely the worst period of hockey I’ve watched in a long, long time. The initial three penalties on the Avalanche were legit, but the Manson/Boeser fiasco ruined it all. They reviewed it, in my opinion, they got it wrong, and then they seemed to have zero confidence whatsoever in their own decision.

The next penalty was on the Canucks (naturally), but Ross Colton did a great job selling it. He flopped a bit and just stared at the ref right next to him. That killed some of the five minute major. Then MacKinnon beat Myers and got slashed, which was legit, but you could tell the refs were looking for anything to get that major over and done with.

There was no flow to the game at all, and while Natural Stat Trick shows over nine minutes of even strength time, it certainly didn’t feel like that. The Avalanche did a nice job killing off everything they had to, but it really says something when the refs just want to even everything up. After that, they (thankfully) swallowed their whistles. No one comes to watch the refs. The rest of the game was great. It’s a shame we didn’t get three periods of it.

From this point on, we never speak of that period again….except…

– The Manson Ejection

Manson definitely got him up high. There’s no question about that. How it became a five minute major? I’m not so sure. Unlike the Colton play a few weeks back, where he extended his arms and got Meier in the face, Manson didn’t really extend, and didn’t even appear to be looking at Boeser. It’s a two minute minor, but I’m not seeing a five minute major. Luckily, the Avalanche escaped it relatively unscathed, but a large chunk of that second period was atrocious for the refs.

+ The Makar Show

In the morning, Cale Makar didn’t really seem interested in discussing the game as him vs. Quinn Hughes, but when you see his celebration, you have to think that game mattered just a little. He has now passed Hughes in points-per-game, and has the leg up on Hughes head-to-head. Will that matter at the end of the year? We’ll see.

Makar is really trying to put this team on his back right now. Rantanen is chipping in goals here and there, but Makar is involved in literally everything. Just an incredible stretch for him.

+ Drouin’s Best Game

On the very first powerplay, Jonathan Drouin passed up a very clear shooting lane in the bumper spot. Valeri Nichushkin hit him with a fantastic pass, and instead of shooting, he passed it off to MacKinnon, who seemed to be caught off-guard.

After that powerplay, he was on the bench staring at his iPad, and on the next man advantage, there was a change. He moved to the half-wall, and Rantanen went down low. They wanted to attack the diamond setup of the Canucks differently, and it worked.

On his next even strength shift, he timed his fly-by the front of the net perfectly, scoring his second goal in an Avalanche uniform. From that point on, he looked like a different player, extremely confident all over the ice. It was easily his best game in a Colorado uniform.

Can he build on it? We’ll find out, but he has been trending up for a little bit.

+ Resiliency

Playing with five defensemen is not easy. Playing with five defensemen while trying to hold the lead is even more difficult, because the other team is typically the one putting all the pressure on the defense. The defense did bend a little bit, but they didn’t break. Everyone’s ice time got bumped up a little bit, and they bent, but did not break.

That’s two times this season that the team has overcome a player getting ejected. Shows a little bit of the resiliency the team has when they get challenged a little bit.

+ Alexandar Georgiev

I did not love the second goal, but Georgiev played fantastic, and for the first time in possibly a month, he showed some swag. He made a flashy glove save in the second period on Garland and the crowd loved it.

His save at the very end of the first period may have been a game changer, and he made another fantastic save late when the Avalanche had the two goal lead. Maybe he’s turning a corner, because I liked his game against the Predators.

+ Tufte Chips In

I don’t think Tufte had the best game overall, but if you’re 6’7″, go to the net. And that’s exactly what he did on the game winning goal.

We shall see if he sticks around for another game. I know I’d prefer to have Logan O’Connor, and I’m sure everyone would, but getting him to pinch in is huge. He’s been a good sport going up and down from Loveland, and deserves praise for that.

– MacKinnon Gets An X-Ray

Nathan MacKinnon blocked a shot right before the Makar goal, and after the game, he was seen going to the x-ray machine. Yes, he’s not playing at his best, but he’s still someone that the other team has to account for at all times, and without him, the team looks very different, especially with Ryan Johansen struggling to produce.

+ Grateful For All Of You

With today being Thanksgiving, I wanted to send my appreciation to everyone. Whether you subscribe, read consistently, or just follow my ramblings on social media, I appreciate all of you. It’s been a great 11 months since taking over, and if you have anything you want to see, let me know.

And yes, I’m still working on that pesky email problem.

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