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Avalanche stymied on the power play, lose to the Stars 3-1

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A disappointing night on special teams and the Avs fall to 1-3 in the preseason.

NHL: Preseason-Dallas Stars at Colorado Avalanche Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

We at Mile High Hockey are also in preseason mode dusting off the cobwebs and getting in mental shape for the 82 game season which begins October 4th. I am no exception and made only more difficult by running through the game without a televised broadcast. Why NHL? Why?

Colorado and Dallas both entered the game with their B-squads. With the Avalanche making a few roster moves today - bringing the team to 36 players - we are left with some players who are in competition to make the opening night roster. Logan O’Connor, Vladislav Kamenev, Ryan Graves, and Martin Kaut all have a real shot on stepping onto Pepsi Center ice come October 4th vs the Minnesota Wild. I would expect all four of those players to continue playing minutes in the final two games even if the plan is to play mostly veterans.


The Recap

The Avalanche dropped the puck with Calvert - Soderberg - Kaut so you can garner just how incomplete the team was tonight.

The first period was primarily controlled by the Avalanche with many of the scoring chances coming early and often. Colin Wilson had a great opportunity in the slot which he just missed and Tyson Jost sounded like he was playing great two-way hockey.

Ty Lewis got the Avalanche on the board first with a great tip-in from a Kamenev shot on the power play. Thanks Nathan for always sharing clips even when it’s a video shot from your phone of the Jumbotron.

The period ended with the Avalanche outshooting the Stars 9-4.

However the second period is where the wheels started to fall off. The Stars began the second period on the power play due to a Nikita Zadorov cross check at the end of the first and they wasted no time with Roope Hintz tapping in an easy goal from a bad give-away from Mark Alt.

It was a tough start in the second for the Avalanche as they didn’t record a shot until the 9 minute mark when Sven Andrighetto rang one off the post. The power play unit sounded like they had a hard time gaining any zone entry and sustaining pressure in the offensive zone. In total they were awarded two power plays in the second and recorded only two shots during the man advantage.

The third began with the Avalanche on their fourth power play of the night but again had nothing going and couldn’t muster any scoring chances.

The Stars would take the lead and the eventual game-winner minutes after the Avs power play with a Tyler Pitlik goal that I’m sure Varlamov would like to have back. It sounded agreeably soft.

Julius Honka, fantastic name by the way, would score only five minutes later on a great individual effort to pick up on his own rebound to put the Stars up 3-1.

The Avalanche found some great scoring chances towards the end of the game but Ben Bishop sounded like he made two unbelievable saves to keep the puck out of the net. One was on a Soderberg rebound which he thought went in and another on a Tyson Jost shot which Peter McNabb and Conor McGahey made it sound like it was the save of the year... in preseason.

Dallas ended up outshooting the Avalanche 27-22 but Colorado led in many other game statistics which is encouraging; 50.8% > 49.2% (Face-offs), 26 > 13 (hits), 17 > 11 (blocks), 7 > 3 (take-aways).


Observations

  • Tyson Jost will be just fine as the 2C.
  • It was Zadorov’s and Andrighetto’s first appearance this preseason and both players did not disappoint. Zadorov is in shape and ready to smash.
  • It’s going to come down to Logan O’Connor or Vladislav Kamenev on filling the final wing spot. Sounded like Kamenev had the better game tonight. Advantage - Kam
  • The 5-on-5 play for the Avalanche sounded atrocious tonight but two games should fix that, right?
  • Jim Montgomery loves coaching in that mile high air.

What’s Next

The Avalanche take on the Minnesota Wild for their last home preseason matchup before the games start to count. Coach Bednar has reiterated that most of the veterans will play in the final 2 games which should give us all hope we won’t see a 7-0 beat down like we saw last week.

Puck drops at 7pm and WILL be televised on Altitude or you can catch the game on 92.5 Altitude Sports Radio.