Connect with us

Colorado Avalanche

Avalanche Game 24 Plus/Minus: Non-Existent Second Line, Ugly Third



Avalanche Kings

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 Kings for the Colorado Avalanche.

+ The First Two Periods

For two periods, the Avalanche played quite well. They weren’t generating a ton of offense, but they also weren’t giving up many chances in their own end. On the road and on the second half of a back-to-back, that’s not a bad thing. They played smart hockey, avoided the penalty box, and looked like they had a gameplan to potentially walk away with some points.

About that…

– The Third

Then the third period happened, and boy was it ugly. It looked like every player on the roster (outside of Georgiev) sat down at their stall in the intermission and whatever energy they had left vanished from their bodies. I don’t think this was an effort issue at all. They just didn’t have any legs, and the Kings, who hadn’t played in a few days, had plenty of energy.

LA out-attempted the Avalanche 37-8 in the third period at even strength, and the Kings were credited with 18 (18!) scoring chances. The fact that the Avalanche held them off as long as they did is remarkable, but it still felt inevitable that the Kings would take the lead, and that’s exactly what happened.

+ Alexandar Georgiev

He wasn’t tested much through two periods, but did manage to stop Anze Kopitar on a breakaway in the second period.

In the third period alone, he might have gotten a full games worth of shot attempts sent his way. He held the Kings off as long as he could. At one point, I believe the shots were 17-2 in favor of LA. Soon after, they scored back-to-back goals, but Georgiev got close to stealing a point for his team. Facing 22 shots in a single period must be exhausting for a goaltender.

– Miles Wood

Wood’s best shift of the game came in the second period when he threw his body around, bodying up Andreas Englund. The bigger issue was his puck play, as he struggled turning the puck over in the defensive zone and neutral zone. On a night where the team is tired, turnovers are a killer, and the turnovers led to some longer shifts in the defensive zone than necessary.

– No 2C…Or Second Line

One quick look at the ice-time at even strength for the forwards shows that Tomas Tatar was dead last, which is not very uncommon these days, Jonathan Drouin just barely ahead of him, and then Ryan Johansen. The line that, on paper, is supposed to be the second line for the Avalanche is essentially their fourth line. I’ve been happy with Drouin’s game for the most part, but at some point, you need some production.

Johansen down the middle continues to be an issue. Defensively, he’s okay, as he did have a nice breakup near the front of the net tonight, but he is not driving offense at all, and that’s a major problem. We’re now 24 games into the season, so I don’t know how much is going to change, but 2C certainly appears to be an issue again.

+ Josh Manson

Didn’t like the penalty, because he made it pretty obvious, but once again, Manson was one of the bright spots on the team, and chipped in with the only goal on the night.

The Avalanche haven’t had a forward score a goal in over 6 periods (plus two overtimes). That doesn’t seem good.

– Olofsson Defensive Lapses

I’ve noticed a few more defensive lapses from Fredrik Olofsson lately. The one on the game-winning goal for the Kings on Sunday was a tougher one, because he had just come off the bench, but he got beat to the puck along the boards, and then got caught watching as Kopitar got behind him. Bednar still trusts that line a lot, but I think that’s three straight games he’s been on the ice for a goal against. Not ideal for a fourth line.

+ Home Sweet Home

Five straight games at home, and eight of the final 10 games before Christmas will take place at Ball Arena. Colorado is 8-2 at home this year, so they have a chance to go on a real run here.

– The “Look” At The Refs

Nathan MacKinnon wasn’t happy that Mikey Anderson’s stick got his foot right before the Kings first goal. MacKinnon didn’t go down, which is probably why it didn’t get called, but he took the time to look and say something to the back ref. In the meantime, Anderson jumped into the play and ended up getting the primary assist on the goal. MacKinnon was just a split second late on the backcheck, but that look to the refs may have made the difference.

– The Big Guns

They’re being overplayed, and a lot is on them right now, but the fact of the matter is, expectations are higher for MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen, and Valeri Nichushkin. After all, it’s like a $28 million line. They did create the only goal for the Avalanche, but Rantanen is in a bit of a slump right now, as he hasn’t scored in six games, and at even strength, he’s not getting a lot of great looks. With no Makar in the lineup, the spotlight shines even brighter on them, and the Kings slowed them down significantly on Sunday.

Colorado's premier coverage of the Avalanche from professional hockey people. Evan Rawal, Editor-in-Chief. Part of the National Hockey Now family.

This site is in no way associated with the Colorado Avalanche or the NHL. Copyright © 2023 National Hockey Now.