Ladies and Gentlemen, we are gathered here today to mourn the loss of Brad Marchand, who is definitely dead, and who's zombie corpse is also punching me in the face.
The Avs started poorly, allowing the Bruins to possess the puck in the Avs' for most of the first minute of the game. Zdeno Chara threw the puck on net from the blue line, which created a scramble at the net mouth. Matt Belesky bounced the puck off of Berra, and several Bruins players crowded the crease. The puck found its way back out to Chara at the blueline, who cashed in just 1:12 into the game. Patrick Roy challenged the goal for goaltender interference because Brett Connolly was standing in the crease and Reto Berra could not get to his feet. The refs did not agree, and the goal stood.
The Avs continued to play sloppy hockey for the rest of the first five minutes. They had trouble entering the offensive zone, consistently fumbled passes, and committed a string of offsides and icings. Andreas Martinsen then took a completely unnecessary hooking penalty in the Avs offensive zone. Twenty seconds into the power play, Carl Soderberg forgot which team he plays for and tried to clear the puck up the slot right into Patrice Bergeron. Bergeron slid the puck to Ryan Spooner, who did not miss on the door step. 2-0 Bruins.
The Avs generally began to pick up their play at this point. Cody McLeod decided to engage in some Leadership Activities, and fought Tyler Randell. His GF/60* is among the best in the league. (*Grit For per Sixty Minutes Played). Tyler Randell was assessed an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty after the fight, presumably because he did something that was not sporting. The ensuing powerplay sucked.
Highlander's Heart and Leadership appeared to actually coincide with an uptick in the Avs' play this time. The Avs began to cycle well, were putting pucks at and on the net, and were putting a lot of pressure on the Bruins on the forecheck. Iggy then spotted Comeau with a step on the defender, and made a smart dump from the defensive blue line into the Bruins' zone. Comeau won the race to the puck, curled around the net, and sent a beauty of a pass to Carl Soderberg. Soderberg suddenly remembered what team he plays for, and buried it. 2-1 Bruins. The chances began coming faster now (phrasing). With about 7:00 minutes left in the period, Malkin hit the post after skating through most of the Bruins' team on a rush. At 4:30, a Tukka Rask Rebound ended up on Comeau's stick, but Comeau didn't put the rebound on net, opting to curl away and find a Bruin to give the puck away to.
With 28.2 seconds left in the first, Dutchy won a faceoff in the Bruins' zone. EJ made a very good pass to Beauchemin, who called his bank off of a Bruins player, and into the net. TIE. FUCKING. GAME.
Avs end the period leading the Score Adjusted Corsi. Of note, the line of Soderberg, Comeau, and Iginla only allowed ONE shot attempt against in the first period.
1st PERIOD STATS
Only a couple things matter about this period. First, Reto Berra kicked ass. Early in the period, Nick Holden pinched, chipped the puck to a Bruins player, and put on his cement skates in his attempt to get back on defense. Not Tyler Seguin aka Loui Eriksonn made a great pass to Joey Vatrano, who tipped the puck on goal. Berra made the initial stop and stopped the rebound. A few minutes later, Landeskog turned the puck over in the neutral zone, resulting in another great chance that Berra saved. Late in the period, Yogi made several in-tight saves on Bergeron. Yogi had a really solid period. He made the saves we needed.
Second, Brad Marchand was murdered this period, reanimated, and skated around the rest of the game as a zombie. As Marchand released a shot in the Avs' zone, Landy leveled him with a high hit. Marchand windmilled to the ice like he'd been hit by a truck. The life drained out of him, and he died right there on the ice. His corpse then got up, and took a cheap shot punch at Landeskog's face while Landy tried to apologize for killing him. Landy was given five and a game misconduct. A suspension may be imminent, although some angles appear to show it was a shoulder to shoulder hit. Marchand's corpse was stored in the penalty box for two minutes.
The Avs dominated the ensuing 4v4. MacK made a great pass to Duchene, who got 3 or 4 good shots in on Rask. The puck then squirted to MacK, who had a wide open net, but the shot hit the post. The Bruins didn't do anything important on the remaining 3 minute of their powerplay, except for not be freaked out by the zombie skating around with them. The Avs generally responded well to Landy's ejection, again winning the possession battle in the period. The Avs had the powerplay twice in the period, including a penalty drawn by McLeod on a partial breakaway (I know, right!?!) but our powerplay sucks soooooo.....
2nd Period Stats
The Avs came out absolutely firing in third period, getting several good chances in on Rask. Rask was fighting the puck a little bit, and giving up rebounds in some bad spots. About 7:00 minutes into the period, Grigs found Duchene with a great feed, and Duchene hammered it home. Duchene is awful and we need to trade him right fucking now. 3-2 Avs.
One goal lead in the third period? You know what that means! Keep up the pressure for most of the period then play competent defense while the goalie is pulled and hold on for the win. Wait, what the hell? Where's the turtle? The Avs really did keep up the pressure for most of the period. With about 5 minutes left in the game, they began to sit back some. However, after a couple of minutes, they picked up the forecheck again, resulting in a wide open shot by Iggy in the slot that Rask fended off with a really good save.
The Bruins pulled Rask with about a minute to go, but it was to no avail. Even the cheating scum timekeepers giving the Bruins an extra rest with 10 seconds left could save them.
Avs win. Beanie babies and slap bands for everyone.
1. Matt Duchene- 1 goal, 1 assist, 5 shots on goal. Now has 9 points in November, and 8 points since the alleged trade call with Ottawa. Despite mediocre possession numbers, he was dangerous all night.
2. Reto Berra- 25 saves, some of which were very difficult. He made the saves we needed from him tonight. Neither of the 2 goals could really be blamed on him. Great night for the Swiss.
3. The Reanimated Corpse of Brad Marchand- Not easy to die then get up and throw a sucker punch, then play professional hockey for half a game. Kudos. Please don't eat my brain.