© 2024 ALLCITY Network Inc.
All rights reserved.
Well, yeah, good thing the game didn’t count.
That’s always what you have to say when your team gets blasted in a preseason game. So, it remains the saving grace for Avalanche fans so far in this preseason, which, well, let’s just say hasn’t gotten off to a great start. The version of the Avs that won’t be the final version of the 2018-19 Avs was destroyed Saturday night in St. Paul, Minn.
Final from Xcel Energy Center: Minnesota Wild 7, Pet Sematary Version of the Avs 0. The game was not as close as the final score might indicate.
Look, this was never going to be a fair fight. The Wild played a veteran-heavy team – pretty much all their regulars that figure to make the final roster – against an Avs team that skated only a few who figure to survive the final cuts. They included Sam Girard, Alexander Kerfoot, Tyson Jost, Colin Wilson and newcomer Philipp Grubauer.
But still, this was embarrassing. The Wild outshot Colorado 33-16 and got a hat trick from Charlie Coyle. Grubauer, who signed a three-year contract with the Avs following a trade with Stanley Cup champion Washington, allowed six goals on 24 shots.
In two preseason games so far, the Avs have been outscored 12-1.
Should we start worrying a little? Probably not. But it is time to worry some, maybe, about the near-term future of Vladislav Kamenev. A second-round draft choice, acquired from Nashville in the Matt Duchene trade, Kamenev entered training camp as someone with as good a chance to make the team as any rookie. But he’s been unimpressive so far, going back to the Rookie Showcase in Las Vegas, and coach Jared Bednar said Thursday he needs to “pick up his pace” some if he wants to play at the NHL level.
Another poor showing Saturday in Minnesota didn’t help Kamenev’s cause at all. In 17:33 of action, Kamenev managed two shots on goal and a minus-1.
Martin Kaut, the team’s first-round pick from this year, was unimpressive on the stat sheet as well, finishing with one shot and a minus-2 in 16:55 of ice time. But there were moments where he flashed good skills with the puck.
The prospects on defense have mostly all had a rough time in the preseason so far. Every single Avs defender in this game – Mason Geertsen, Mark Alt, Ryan Graves, Nicolas Meloche, Girard and Anton Lindholm – all finished at least a minus-2.
Again, the game didn’t count. But Bednar is a coach, and coaches want to see their guys do things the right way, no matter if the game is played on the moon. So far, his players haven’t don’t much right in the preseason, and the Wild is the team the Avs will play when the games do start to count, Oct. 4 at the Pepsi Center.
Nowhere to go but up until then, alas.