– Second Periods
It has seemed like the Avalanche have been giving up way too much in the second periods this season, so I took a deeper dive to see if that was the case.
It sure is.
The Avalanche have given up 34 goals in the second period this season. That’s tied for the fourth most in the league, behind only the Sharks, Senators, and Canadiens. That’s not a good trio to be hanging out with.
The second period was far and away the worst for Colorado on Saturday night, as they didn’t even generate a single high-danger scoring chance. They were sloppy with the puck and gave the Flyers too many easy chances. It’s
The powerplay was on a bit of a hot streak for a while, scoring goals in eight consecutive games. Since then, it’s been all downhill. Five straight games without a powerplay goal, and the powerplay to end the second period was hideous. It’s not like the top powerplay unit isn’t getting chances, either. Jared Bednar has been keeping the top unit on the ice for almost the entirety of the powerplays over the last few games, and it’s not working. I like that they’re giving Drouin a look on the top unit, but I still think he’s miscast in that bumper spot.
+ Ryan Johansen
I’ve said he’s not played like a 2C, and he hasn’t, but he deserves credit. This was one of his better games in a long time.
He started the game as the 4C, and maybe that gave him a kick in the butt, because he was throwing his body around a little bit. He finally picked up his first 5-on-5 assist of the year, and the team played pretty well with him on the ice.
– Breakaways Against
I get that the Avalanche were pushing for that tying goal in the third period, but the mistakes they were making were just brutal. Makar drops the puck to Byram, who’s standing still at the blueline, and is actually the last guy back. That was essentially a 2-on-0, and Ivan Prosvetov had to make not one, but two ridiculous saves to keep it a one goal game. Then, and I’m pretty sure it was the top line’s next shift, Valeri Nichushkin telegraphs a pass that Travis Konecny picks off for another breakaway. Konecny didn’t score, but he did draw a penalty shot that ended the game. These are just simple mistakes that cost you games.
+ Rantanen Showed Some Life
He didn’t score, but Mikko Rantanen showed signs of life, and had a large chunk of the best opportunities for the Avalanche. He hit the crossbar in the first period, had a mini break in the third, and even knocked Carter Hart’s stick out of his hand with a hard wrister. It’s not perfect, but following up a game where he registered zero even strength shots with four is an improvement.
– Jonathan Drouin
I’ve praised him of late, but this looked more like the Drouin of the first month of the season. He floated around a fair bit, didn’t play with the puck a whole lot, and didn’t flash at all. The coaching staff noticed too, because his ice-time as the game went on was cut dramatically.
Big opportunity for him to play with both Mikko Rantanen and Valeri Nichushkin, and he didn’t step up at all. Several ugly turnovers in the defensive and neutral zone, which led to chances for the Flyers. On the fifth goal, he’s just laying flat on the ice in front of Prosvetov. Dating back to last season, that’s now 30 games without a goal. Yikes.
– Streaky Team
Based off how this season has gone so far, the Avalanche are due to go on a run here real soon. They started the season with six straight wins, then followed it up by losing five of seven. Then, they won seven of eight. Right now, they’re stuck in a rut where they’ve lost five of six. After the game, Bednar couldn’t pinpoint exactly why that is, but it’s been a real rollercoaster of a season so far.
And through it all, they still sit atop the Central Division.