Well that was... something. The Colorado Avalanche lost to the Dallas Stars 2-1, in what was the most preseason-y of preseason games you could imagine. The Avs had a much better start than last game and put on a lot of pressure but 2018 first-round pick Jake Oettinger was great during his two periods in net for the Stars.
There were a lot of new faces in the lineup and you could tell that the veterans weren’t going at full speed for most of the night.
The coaching staff also gave Bowen Byram and Martin Kaut chance to prove themselves. While both were better than they were on Tuesday, each continued to underwhelm with their performance.
It’s still the preseason so I’m going to stick with the point-form recap.
- Byram paired with Mark Alt. Martin Kaut playing with Matt Nieto and J.T. Compher. Calle Rosen with Mark Barberio.
- Nazem Kadri line put on a lot of pressure on their first shift.
- Pierre-Eduard Bellmare puts in a rebound going to the net to make it 1-0. Great outlet pass from Sam Girard.
- Nichushkin with a strong shift draws a penalty. Was impressive the entire period.
- Byram killing the penalty.
- Bellmare/Calvert and Donski/Compher forward PK pairs.
- Rosen with a strong start to the period. Nice exit pass. Shot on net after joining the rush.
- Byram with good control in the offensive zone creating a shot on net.
- Bellmare and Stefan Noesen drop the gloves for a preseason fight - but why?
- For those who didn’t watch the game, this period was the perfect example that you really shouldn’t mind. It was a while lot of nothing aside from one absolutely filthy play from Sam Girard:
Sam Girard breaking ankles like Iverson in his prime pic.twitter.com/TS3mg42X2e— Tom Hunter (@PuckDontLie) September 20, 2019
- Byram looking a lot more calm with the puck.
- Scottie Upshall - He’s still in the league? - ties the game up with a nice wrist shot past Grubauer. Byram and Alt both misplayed the Stars’ rush pretty badly.
- The power play looked lackluster all nice. They got one very good chance but Landon Bow (who?) absolutely robbed MacKinnon on the one timer.
- The Stars take the lead with less than five minutes remaining as Byram scores his second own goal in as many games. The point shot deflected off of his upper body and past Grubauer. The kid just can’t catch a break.
- Nathan MacKinnon spent most of the last two minutes trying to force overtime to no avail.
- Kaut looked a step slower than everyone else - as was the case on Tuesday.
- Nichushkin looked great early on but faded as the game went on. He seemed like a very good complement for the Kadri/Donskoi pair.
- Of the new faces, Kadri looked the best. He had a game-high five shots and was one of the few players willing to drive to the net.
- Donskoi and Burakovsky both looked very tentative on most of their shifts.
- J.T. Compher was absolutely flying - he legitimately looks faster than last season, which is crazy.
- Byram looked better than his first game but he was the second best 2019 drafted defender in the game - Thomas Harley looked really good for the Stars. Harley was really stinkin’ good. Byram & Newhook or Tucotte & Harley? Makes you think.
- At times, Nathan MacKinnon showed signs of being in mid-season form. Gabriel Landeskog, no so much.
- Alt and Byram got a lot of offensive zone starts.
- Calle Rosen looked like a guy who could make this team.
- There were a few more bodies in the Pepsi Center tonight but it still looked about 3⁄4 empty.