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Colorado Avalanche

Avalanche Game 44 Plus/Minus: Colton Steps Up, Georgiev Called Out Again



Avalanche Canadiens

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 Montreal Canadiens for the Colorado Avalanche.

+ Ross Colton

It seems like anyone who gets to sit in front of the net on that top powerplay unit is almost guaranteed to pick up a goal. Colton got one, but he could have gotten a few more than that. He was credited with 11 shot attempts on the evening, but five of them missed the net, so that’s tough. In the second, he deflected a Josh Manson shot off the cross-bar, and then a shift or two later, seemed to take a Girard slapshot to his little Colton’s. That’s got to hurt, but he kept going to the net.

It would have been interesting to see Colton get a chance between Artturi Lehkonen and Valeri Nichushkin, but we all know that can’t happen now, at least for a while.

– Letdown Game

After an emotional comeback against the Toronto Maple Leafs, this had all the makings of a letdown game. After the news of Nichushkin leaving the team and joining the Player Assistance Program, it really did, and there was a bit of a letdown from this team.

They didn’t play poorly, but they had opportunities to run away with the game. There were times when they could have stomped on the Canadiens throats. They went up 1-0 early, and then got really sloppy for the rest of the first period. They came out and dominated the first half of period two, but couldn’t find the insurance goal, even with a long powerplay. We’ll see what energy levels they have tonight, but they started to look more and more tired as the game went on.

– Georgiev

Part of the reason why the Avalanche couldn’t find any sort of insurance marker is that their goaltender let in a few he’d like to back. Those aren’t even my words, but the words of his coach (2:18 mark).

Is Bednar getting a little tired of his goaltender letting in some bad goals every night? It seems like it just a little bit, because he’s been calling them out more and more in his postgame pressers. Georgiev was named third star of the week by the NHL on Monday, and a large part of that was because of the shutout. In the other two games from last week, he finished with a save percentage below .900. That’s been the case in six of the seven games since 2024 started.

The Avalanche dominated most of the second period, but one (really) bad shift, and the puck was in the back of their net and the game was tied. You need your goaltender to bail you out occasionally, especially when the team is controlling the play.

– Manson

In both games since returning from injury, Josh Manson hasn’t quite been at the level he was prior to sitting out a little bit. Granted, his level of player prior to the absence was very high, so he set the bar up there. Is the injury still bothering him? I couldn’t answer that, but just have noticed a drop-off.

I will say that although he did get called for a penalty last night, the refs have been letting him get away with a lot more of late. Probably a good sign for the playoffs, because that’s how he needs to play.

+ Makar Dominates

Cale Makar was on it Monday night. He picked up a point on all three Avalanche goals, and when he was out there, the team dominated. The team controlled 71% of the attempts with Makar on the ice, the best on the defense. His goal tied him with Tyson Barrie for the top spot in franchise history for defensemen with 75. Heck, he might break that record tonight.

– Ice Time Spread

The Avalanche don’t have a fourth line right now. Well, they do, but it’s not a fourth line they really want to play. That means a lot is expected of the top line, but I felt like they showed some fatigue on Monday, especially in the defensive zone. I didn’t think this team would be at a point where they felt they had to play guys like Rantanen and MacKinnon 29 minutes to have to beat a sub-par team like the Canadiens, but that’s where they’re at right now. Lehkonen and Wood coming back will help, but I’m not sure anything other than a big pickup at 2C is going to limit them depending on the top line so much.

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