Just when you think the Avalanche are turning a corner, posting a solid victory over an inferior Winnipeg Jets on Friday, they go ahead and lay an egg against the Boston Bruins, who were playing on the second night a of a back-to-back. The 2-0 loss dropped the Avalanche to 6-8-0 on the season.
These home shutouts are starting to get a little concerning. Yeah, this team has a long way to go acclimating to a new system and unlearning fistfuls of bad habits acquired the past three seasons, but the talent on the ice should be scoring goals, especially at home. This is the fourth time in 14 games Colorado has been shutout, and quite frankly, it should be the last—PDO be damned.
What happened? Well, Tuukka Rask continued his hot start to the season, turning away all 20 shots the Avalanche were able to muster. His record improves to 10-1-0 on the season and now sports a Save Percentage of .945—which is currently 4th in the NHL. David Krejci scored his second goal of the season on a pretty wrister from a tough angle halfway through the first period. And then the Bruins proceeded to step on the throat of the Avalanche for the final 40 minutes. Boston would dominate in shot attempts, 41-24, in the final two periods, pretty much suppressing any legitimate scoring opportunity for the rest of the game.
The good news is that Semyon Varlamov turned every remaining shot away, ultimately stopping 44-of-45 shots and once again reinforcing the idea he’s only good under heavy fire. Really, though, he’s looked really solid for quite a few periods in a row. If he can continue the recent stretch of solid play, it would be a long way toward improving his team’s fortunes--even if nothing wants to fall in the net.
The other good news AJ Greer, making his NHL debut, looked like he belonged on the ice. The 19-year-old, with just 13 professional games under his belt, made good decisions with the puck, played decent defense, and mixed it up more than a few times in front of the Bruins’ net. There’s a chance he gets sent back down to the Rampage after Matt Duchene returns from his concussion-like injuries, but I also wouldn’t be surprised if he sticks.
Oh, Boston also scored an empty netter toward the end of the third while Colorado was desperate to rediscover their 6-on-5 magic and sent the game into a second straight overtime. Dominic Moore would register the tally and put the game out of reach.
The Avalanche play again on Tuesday when they wrap up their home stand against the Los Angeles Kings. Will they score a goal? I mean, I suppose it’s possible. Recent track record, though, suggests otherwise.