One point gained as Avalanche lose to Red Wings


One point is better than none for the Colorado Avalanche against the Detroit Red Wings. But it wasn’t the best game outcome at this end of the season. Why didn’t they get two points?

The power play – tonight the Altitude broadcaster Marc Moser mentioned not once, but twice, “the Avalanche are two of their last 28.” That shows that there is an issue with the power play. The penalty kill was strong, so it’s not a ‘special teams’ issue.

No rebound luck – the Avalanche picked up very few rebounds. When they did, they had no luck putting the puck in the net.

Missed Passes – Poor timing of passes resulted in missed goal-scoring chances.


– Justus Annunen in only his fourth game as starting goalie for the Avalanche was strong in net. The one goal that got past him flew through bodies and sticks. It was impossible to track. His biggest save of the game came with .06 seconds left in the third period. Former Avalanche J. T. Compher was trying to push the goal and Annunen denied him.

– After his last game, the coaches elevated Ryan Johansen to 2nd line center tonight. He has won 53.8 percent of his faceoffs so far this season. That contributes to game wins. His game was back to what we had seen early in the season from him, after he joined the Avalanche.

– Jack Johnson has elevated his game recently to assist the team with scoring. Tonight he gained his fourth point in three games. His game is solid defensively, which is a bonus. Mark Rycroft from Altitude TV commented that “he knows his own limits and plays to them.” That contributes to predictability, something the Avalanche have been lacking lately.

– Both Josh Manson and Samuel Girard were again noticeable. Manson and Girard played powerful roles during the penalty kill. They held the Red Wings to scoring on one of four their opportunities. Overall, both players contributed tonight. Girard is now a plus-11 in his last 20 games since returning from his break. That makes a difference. Prior to the break he was -7. And Manson is not only contributed defensively but with scoring opportunities too.


You will notice the absence of talking about the Avalanche’s top line tonight. Mikko Rantanen had a dreadful night. Cale Makar now has no points in his last six games. Whilst the top line can’t be the only ones to carry the team, as previous game writeups have noted, other teams have worked out how to shut down Nathan MacKinnon. That does impact game outcomes.

Marc Moser summed up the last half of the game when he said “The Red Wings defense has gotten more stingy as this game has gone on.” The Avalanche couldn’t find the way to break through that.

Was this loss terrible for the Avalanche? No. With the minor mistakes cleaned up, they could have come away with two points rather than one. The Avalanche now go back home to meet the Maple Leafs on Saturday.

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