You’re not going to be able to argue that this was an overly exciting game. The Colorado Avalanche dropped only their third game this season at the Pepsi Center, losing 2-1 to the New Jersey Devils.
It was sloppy at times, it was filled with bad penalties and the teams combined for only 44 shots on net. Not exactly what you’d expect from two teams that skate the way these ones do.
J.T. Compher was great, Anton Lindholm was really bad, and the Avs in general just didn’t seem to have the jump that we’re used to seeing in their game over the past two weeks.
Honestly, if you missed the first half of this game, you didn’t miss a whole heck of a lot. A bunch of penalties, one or two scoring chances per team and that’s about it. The first 30 minutes had a lot of time to snooze built in.
As the second period went on, the Avs started to put on some more pressure. Getting a few more chances towards the net - including two beautiful one-timer attempts from Mikko Rantanen - but they couldn’t solve Cory Schneider. Then with about six minutes left in the second, Nikita Zadorov did his best Kris Russell impression as he threw a blind, behind the back pass out from behind the net. It was a beautiful pass right on the tape - unfortunately it was to Devils rookie Jesper Bratt who buried it in the open net to put New Jersey up 1-0. It was a boneheaded play that Zadorov simply can’t be making.
Luckily, the Avs answered right back as J.T. Compher scored his fourth of the season, tying the game up with a little more than two minutes left in the second period.
The Avs started the third period on fire again, but any momentum they had was killed by a bad penalty from Mark Barberio. Less than a minute into the powerplay, Brian Boyle was able to knock in a rebound to put the Devils up 2-1.
After looking like the better team in the second period, the Avs went 13:17 in the third period without registering a shot on net. That’s simply not good enough - especially when you’re playing from behind. They were able to put on some pressure in the final minute while Varlamov was on the bench, to no avail. The Avs couldn’t find the equalizer and dropped their second in a row to the Devils.
- J.T. Compher was the best player on the ice for the Avs. He spent time on both the powerplay and penalty kill, showing how valuable he can be to this team when he’s on his game. He even spent most of the third period playing on the top line with MacKinnon and Rantanen.
- Alex Kerfoot continues to be very impressive and Tyson Jost looks to be getting more and more comfortable with every shift.
- Will Butcher was not very impressive for the Devils.
- I think it’s time that Mark Barberio spends a game or two in the press box.
- Samuel Girard is just so damn good. He finished the game with a 67% corsi at 5v5 and had one heck of a defensive play, breaking up a prime scoring chance by #1 overall pick Nico Hischier.
- Twenty-three shots on net simply aren't enough if for this team. It seems as though the Avs are starting to settle down defensively, but it is coming at the expense of the offense.
- Anton Lindholm was really bad tonight. He gave up the most shot attempts by any Avs defensemen while getting the least amount of ice time. To put in perspective, Erik Johnston gave up the second most and he was on the ice for 11 more minutes that Lindholm.
The Avs will welcome the Dallas Stars back to the Pepsi Center Sunday night.