Redmond and Briere scratched. Hejda back in the lineup.
Nathan Mackinnon with a quick release from a drop pass at the right point hits Roman Josi’s skate a scoots past Pekka Rinne on the first shot of the game. What follows is a game-long dose of hockey karma because apparently the Avs have been murdering puppies or not washing their recycling or something deserving of a complete and utter domination by one of the best teams in the NHL.
To whit, a mere handful of seconds later, a bad hop/whiff by Stefan Elliott with NOBODY behind him springs Calle Jarnkrok for a breakaway and we’re tied up on a inside out move to Semyon Varlamov's glove side high.
Some settling of play with the Avs getting the possession, but not much for shots.
Gabriel Landeskog catches Josi up high but doesn’t leave the ice, Shea Weber hulks out and goes straight after him and they trade punches before heading to the bin. Weber gets 2, 5, 10. Avs get the PP which is full of the usual futility and crap play as they have trouble getting o-zone possession and quickly burn a minute. Avs dodge a bullet on a shortie breakaway by Gabriel Bourque when the puck rolls off his stick after a hesitation at the blueline from John Mitchell. A scant few seconds later Mitchell has to hold another PK’er to prevent another golden opportunity on a quick odd-man rush on a neutral zone TO. So they go 4-on-4 for a few before Nashville gets the PP.
Dennis Everberg gets a pseudo break and gets held by Filip Forsberg after Alex Tanguay makes a good read with his stick but can’t bury his chance.
Avs get a few shots (only one gets through to Rinne) with Elliott doing good work along the line with the first unit (glad to see he wasn’t immediately put on a plane to Cleveland) and then can’t get back in the zone.
Little bit of back and forth with no real chances to end the period with shots 9-3 for Nashville even with two Avs PP’s. Avs trail in every stat at the break except for the score.
The period starts with three quick TO’s and Varly has to be sharp.That trend continues... Brad Stuart literally stares at a puck in his reach for about seven minutes letting Forsberg come in and hammer a shot on goal uncontested.
At this point, the Preds announcing team is openly mocking the Avs paltry shot count of 4 merely 3 minutes into the period.
A bad decision by Everberg on the offensive end springs a 4-2 rush up ice and Craig Smith hammers a shot from just above the circle and goes far post and in for the 2-1 lead.
Varly has to shred a groin making a save on a stupid play by Elliott who gives Forsberg a golden opportunity to emulate his namesake. FFS Elliott.
Egregious turnover by a forward (McLeod, can't tell) leads to a point blank shot in the middle of the slot and Varly has to make a save off a Mike Santorelli shot.
Here's the TLDR for anybody that's made it this far: These guys flat out suck tonight. The Predators are doing whatever they want.
Nate Guenin gets in on the fun and turns it over behind his net and Mike Ribeiro gets a great shot off that Varly saves.
Finally some zone possession and a shot from Elliott that Rinne has to shrug away. Lots of low % perimeter shots…
Shots are 20-7 and Weber is now out of the box with 9 minutes left in the period.
Some shit happens off the face-off and Josi loops a wrister that Varly never sees through the traffic and its 3-1.
I’m pretty sure Elliott has two or three defensive gaffs tonight and most of the Avs shots. It's like some kind of weird Twilight Zone + nut-kicking two-for-one tonight.
Passing is shitty. Puckhandling is shitty. Effort is shitty. This team is shitty. There appears to be zero talent on the ice in the white jersey.
Stuart gets tagged for a cross-check out in space in front of god and everybody and it’s Nashville’s chance to put this one away.
Nashville gets a good shot, clear, easy entry, move around the zone, shot, save. You know, the polar opposite of the Colorado man advantage. Much better PK after the faceoff and they even push the play back out of the zone once!! I feel a dicktease coming on...
Lots of "let's just get this over with" play to end the period. Shots 25-8 for Nashville (as if there was a doubt). 8 shots. What a shitshow.
Stuart and Ryan O`Reilly use some leadership, character, veteran savvy and finally a little teamwork to turnover the puck behind the net to give Weber a one-timer from the hashmarks and Varly has to a gut save for the first shot of the period.
A bouncy puck off of the face off a few seconds later and Forsberg spins and fires over Varly’s shoulder bar down for a 4-1 lead. It’s just getting comical at this point…
Hey a shot that isn’t against Varly?!?!?!?
Roy decides he’s seen enough from his team and we have a new netminder, Reto Berra. I’m done for the night as well.
Short and sweet the rest of the way:
There's a 6-4 man-advantage/delayed penalty for Colorado results in an empty net goal for Nashville (WHAT!?!?!?!?), a Cody McLeod face-hosting-fists and at 6 minutes left in the game the Nashville crew still hasn't realized that the guy in net for Colorado isn't Varlamov. Ohh a two-on-one for Nashville doesn't end up in the net?!?! The Predators are taking liberties and the refs just want this one over with so no whistles if they can help it. I take that back, the Avs get a PP off their first breakaway rush of the game with less than 2 minutes left in the game and I'll be goddamned if they don't score on the PP. Who is it???? Mitchell with the garbage time goal from a nice backhand feed from Matt Duchene coming out of his office behind the net.
Final shot count (brace yourself): 41-19 for Colorado. Just kidding, it's for Nashville.
MHH Three Stars:
I'm going to give all three stars to the Fox Tennessee intern who finally pointed out to the on-air "talent" that Reto Berra had been in Colorado's net for nearly 15 minutes. Truly outstanding effort by said intern. Real up-and-comer stuff there. Long career of fetching donuts and diet soda may pay off for him/her.