– Mikko Rantanen No Shows
Well, Rantanen technically did show up. He led the forwards in ice time by a significant amount. At even strength, he played nearly 20 minutes. What did he do with those minutes?
Zero shots on goal.
You could tell after the game that Jared Bednar wanted to maybe say a little bit more than he did about Rantanen’s performance, but he held back. He’s trying to play him out of this slump, because other than MacKinnon, no one else is really going, and Rantanen is too dangerous to sit on the bench for a long period of time. However, it’s not pretty. Rantanen was fumbling pucks all over the place and missing passes left and right.
He has still racked up points over this last little stretch, but it hasn’t been pretty.
– Two Man Advantage…Not
The Avalanche have 2:35 of 5-on-3 time this season, and have produced zero goals. In their 47 seconds against the Jets, they didn’t even produce a good look at the net.
The set-up was Jonathan Drouin at the top of the umbrella, center point, with Cale Makar and Nathan MacKinnon at his side. The goal was to get the puck to MacKinnon, and they did that, but there no creativity at all. It was just shoot the puck from 60 feet away and hope it goes in with a screen.
After that disaster, it was clear Colorado didn’t have the juice to get back in the game.
+ MacKinnon Does It All Again
You can’t pin it all on Nathan MacKinnon, that’s for sure. He’s the only forward really going, and has now picked up a point on the last seven goals for the Avalanche. It’s great that he’s really going, but not so great that the team is depending on him so much. His energy levels look much better, and he’s pushing the pace a bit more. Starting to look a little bit more like the Mackinnon we saw to end last season.
– Long Shifts
In the arena last night, they highlighted how the entire top line was averaging well over a minute on their shifts.
That is not a good thing at all. The Avalanche had FIVE forwards average a minute or more on their shifts. An ideal shift typically lasts about 40-50 seconds, if that, so if you’re averaging over a minute a shift, that means you are on the ice for way too long, and probably not at your best.
Ross Colton and Logan O’Connor are fantastic depth players. I can’t imagine the Avalanche had plans of playing BOTH of them over 20 minutes in a game prior to the season. Colton’s ice-time was boosted by the top powerplay unit, but still a stunningly large amount.
It’s very telling that Ryan Johansen, in a game where the team needed offense from anyone, played under 10 minutes at 5-on-5. He’s not generating much, and his ice-time has taken a hit because of it. Colorado did get a goal from Joel Kiviranta, but it came off a line change and all the work was done by MacKinnon, so they could use a little more offense from their depth. Those depth players were doing their part up until recently, so I’m sure some of that offense will return.
– That End Of Period Decision By Toews
99% of the time, you can count on Devon Toews to make the right decision. At the end of the first period, he did the one thing he couldn’t do, and that’s turn it over up the boards. It was completely unnecessary. There wasn’t a ton of pressure on him, and with six seconds left, it’s not like the Avalanche could have gone down the ice and done anything. Eat it along the boards, and get out of the period.
– Smack That
It’s not a good look to whack your teammate in the leg, no matter what you think happened. Alexandar Georgiev was not happy that Sam Malinski screened him on the third goal, and I get that, but giving him a big whack on the shinpads looks bad. It’s now gone viral, and you could tell after the game that the coaching staff had a chat with Georgiev. In the locker room, Georgiev owned up to it, saying he shouldn’t get so frustrated and calling it “my bad.”
— 𝘋𝘢𝘳𝘳𝘪𝘯 𝘉𝘢𝘶𝘮𝘪𝘯𝘨 (@DarrinBauming) December 8, 2023