Another defensive collapse buries Avs 4-2
The Colorado Avalanche and Columbus Blue Jackets finished their round-trip streak with the Jackets leading 4-2 on Saturday night. The Avs finish their first 10 games of the season 4-5-1, a disturbing record to start the year with strength in the roster.
The Avalanche got off on the wrong foot, again pursuing the defensive failure. Despite the return of Devon Toews to the lineup and the exit of Kurtis MacDermid, the Avs have fallen behind.
The Jackets scored 11:44 from the first, when Gabriel Carlsson slipped behind the Avs lackluster defense. Jakub Voracek would find cowardly Carlsson to give the Jackets the lead 1-0.
The Avs returned, however, thanks to the return of Andre Burakovsky. Right after the power play expired, Sam Girard would reunite with Nazem Kadri, who gave him the slap from Burakovsky to tie at one. The honors would even be at one point in the second frame.
Both teams stepped up the action in the second, with plenty of looks from Columbus including a shot from Jake Bean. Darcy Kuemper had to make some big saves to keep his team in the game.
The offense did its job, however, as Burakovsky secured his second of the night with a magnificent backhand just ahead of Elvis Merzlinkins.
There were also a lot of penalties in the second period, with Jack Johnson struggling and a big scrum late in the period after a heavy blow to Mikko Rantanen.
As the Avs entered the third with a lead, they were looking for something that has been hard to come by this season: hold on to a lead. Darcy Kuemper had to stand on his head until this point.
The other five ahead of him couldn’t finish that though, as Alex Texier had one to get into the back of the net all night. He got it from a power supply from Kuemper’s wide corner to tie it up to two.
All signs pointed to another overtime for both clubs after their crazy Wednesday night affair that saw the Jackets take the win. The Blue Jackets, however, had other ideas and didn’t want to go to the extra frame.
Cole Sillinger would reverse a low shot after a point shot. It beat Kuemper and broke Avs’ heart and increased their level of anger with the Jackets taking a 3-2 lead with just over a minute to go.
Colorado would shoot Kuemper, but to no avail as Columbus sent one into the yawning net to kill him 4-2, giving the Avs their second straight loss.
Take away food
Again, there was another collapse of the defense. The Avs let a mediocre Blue Jackets side without Patrik Laine score three straight goals to take the lead. Simply put, it is unacceptable for everyone on the bench to let this happen, both the players and the coaches. Rantanen admitted it was the team’s worst third period he had ever seen. The changes have to be quick, otherwise we’re in for a long season.
Despite the negatives, Kuemper stood out while being left out tonight. He did his part, making 38 saves to keep the Avs as long as possible. He stood out in the second to keep the one goal lead, but needs more support if he does better this season.
The Avs were back to a semi-healthy formation, still missing Valeri Nichushkin and Cale Makar through injury. Nichushkin has been caught up in a possible doping scandal which may need to be investigated further, but nonetheless the return of these two and healthy training will be a big sigh of relief for all involved with Avs. In the meantime, the Avs have four days to rest, recap what happened and look ahead.
To come up
Speaking of the future, the Vancouver Canucks hit town on Thursday, November 11. Just a reminder that this is the first Avs game that requires a vaccination or proof of a negative COVID-19 test for those looking to go to the game. The face-off takes place at 7 p.m. MT.