Avalanche fizzle out in Boston

  

The last time the Colorado Avalanche played the Boston Bruins was just ten days ago in Denver. It seems so long ago as Colorado just wrapped up their fourth game on the current road trip, with one to go. The Bruins would jump out to a quick lead, scoring only 44 seconds into the game. Boston would take over from there. Colorado would try to fight back, scoring one in the first and second periods, but they would fizzle out. Boston turned on their shutdown defense in the third, allowing Colorado to get four shots on goal. The 5–2 loss to Boston was difficult to watch, and here are the key takeaways.

Takeaways

— The defense continues to struggle in their own zone. This may sound like a broken record, but they continue to make big mistakes. The first goal scored by David Pastrnak, Cale Makar chased the man behind the net, drawing himself out of position. A similar situation occurred on the next goal. Sam Malinski found himself low in the corner and out of position. Alexander Georgiev went out too far on the play himself, but the other side of the ice was wide open for a pass.

— The top three forwards are being overplayed every game. Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen, and Jonathan Drouin have all played over 21 minutes each of the last three games. All three of them played over 27 minutes each in Montreal two games ago. This is a pace that is not sustainable for even the best athletes in an 82 game season.

— Samuel Girard has been on fire since his return from the NHL Player Assistance Program. In his 10 games since his return, he has seven points (all assists) and is plus-6. He has been more aggressive in the play and shows even more confidence. Girard has been one of the best defensemen in the last ten games for the Avalanche.

Conclusion

Many people seem to think that Georgiev is the problem for the Avalanche. In a way, they are not wrong. But, the problem is also in front of him. The defense continues to have issues that fall back on Georgiev’s shoulders. Devon Toews and Makar can not do it all on their own. Malinski, for as little experience as he has, has been outstanding. Josh Manson has been getting better, missing most of last season because of injuries. But, that the Avalanche have 15 come from behind wins shows there is a problem in the overall defensive structure. The Avalanche play in Philadelphia on Saturday morning against the Flyers next.

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