Physicality continues as Eagles drop second straight


LOVELAND, Colo. — The Colorado Eagles clinched their spot in the Calder Cup Playoffs last night and now look to move on up the standings. As of tonight, the Eagles were sitting in fourth place and could only secure one point in the overtime loss to the Abbotsford Canucks last night. Now it is up to them to work their way up and avoid having to play the Calgary Wranglers in the first round. Tonight, with game two against the Canucks, the physicality continued, if not got worse. There were few plays tonight that did not involve bone crushing hits along the boards. Here are the takeaways from the 5–1 loss against Abbotsford. 


— The shorthanded goal has become the name of the game for the Eagles. With a penalty kill that is 85.25 percent successful, the Eagles pushed the play into the other end against Abbotsford. Ondrej Pavel scored one last night and now Tanner Kero adds another to his list. Of Kero’s 13 goals this season, three have come on the penalty kill. Kero, unfortunately, did not play the final ten minutes of the game because of an unknown injury.

— Matt Stienburg became an agitator out on the ice tonight. He was taking every opportunity to play his style of hockey and let the Canucks know when he was on the ice. During the second period, Stienburg laid a man over the boards onto the bench and stood there waiting for the chaos to come to him. His job has become to not score goals, but to get under the skin of the opponents.

— As the penalty kill has had success in scoring the last two games, the power play has not. Combined, the power play has gone 0 for 10. They have been moving the puck well while in the zone, but sometimes it is a matter of getting there that has been the problem. Once the Eagles are in a suitable position, they have been passing the puck excessively, trying to find the right moment to take a shot.

“It’s a lot of games, so you kind of have to learn how to play when you’re tired,” said Sam Malinski. “You’re not always gonna have fresh legs. So sometimes you just gotta play. Stay between the dots and make it a little bit easier on yourself.”


The Eagles played some high octane hockey despite having nine days off before the weekend set. It looked as if they started strongly, but the defense struggled a bit once it got in their zone. Easy shots were making their way through, but this could have been because Wyatt Aamodt was getting some much needed rest. We can probably expect him back in the lineup on Tuesday when Colorado hits the road to Texas. Offensively, Colorado needs to get shots closer to the net to avoid traffic in front of the net. If they can solve these factors, the Stars should not be an issue.

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