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Avs-Kraken Game 5 Studs & Duds: If not now, when?

Jesse Montano Avatar
April 27, 2023

Studs

Nathan MacKinnon

I know, people will immediately point to him yelling at the refs after what looked like an apparent missed tripping call. Him being a little behind the play because of that, led to a late line change, which led to a man being open in the slot and a goal against. 

He’s gotta be better there, I know that. He knows that. Outside of that play though, I felt like he was one of the few guys out there battling. You can see the desire in him, I’m just starting to wonder if he’s got enough left in the tank to take his game to the level we’ve become accustomed to in the playoffs. 

He scored a goal in the second period by driving to the net, and just being in the right area. On top of that, he cleared more than 27 minutes of ice time, picked up an assist on the Evan Rodrigues goal, and was able to put four pucks on net… which is four more shots than he got through to Philipp Grubauer in Game 4. 

This was a night of few bright spots for the Colorado Avalanche, but I thought for most of the game, Nathan MacKinnon was one. 

Alexandar Georgiev

In my opinion, this was Georgiev’s best game of the series so far. 

Really, I thought the first period of this game was Colorado’s best start so far, but they still gave up the better of the chances by a pretty big margin. If not for Georgiev, I believe that this game could have gotten a little out of hand on the scoreboard. 

He routinely made big saves and was able to keep his team within arm’s reach for the vast majority of this game. He purely just got nothing for support in front of him. The Avs have yet to give him an “easy” game in this series, yet I think he’s battled hard to keep them in games. 

Statistically, it’s not going to look like it was a very good night for Georgiev: three goals against on 29 shots, coming in just shy of a .900 SV% for the night. Though I don’t think that tells the whole story for Georgiev tonight, who has maybe been Colorado’s most (or only) consistent player in this series.

Duds

Everyone else

Maybe this seems a bit harsh and like an easy way to blanket over what was just a brutal night for the Avs, but I go back to something Andrew Cogliano told me after Game 4 in Seattle…

We were talking about the start that the Kraken had, and how they were able to carry that type of energy through the rest of the game. “If you can’t get up for that, what game will you get up for?”, Cogliano asked rhetorically. 

What he meant was, the Kraken had their backs against the wall, and you should expect them to come out ready to give everything they had. 

The Kraken did, and it led to a dramatic win in overtime of that Game 4. Tonight, I thought it was the Avs’ opportunity to show up in the big moment. You were coming into the game having come no where close to giving your best effort, and it led to you being in a much tighter series than pretty much everyone had expected coming in. 

On top of that, you were starting down in a situation where a loss would mean going back on the road into a hostile environment, this time facing elimination. Not an ideal scenario. 

While I will acknowledge (as I did earlier), this was probably their best start to a game so far, I thought after that, this team just completely fell flat. No urgency, no physicality, no desperation. It was incredibly disappointing, and makes me wonder the same question that Cogliano was asking… if not now, when?

This team looks mentally exhausted to me. On and off the ice. It feels like they’ve had to crawl through nails every single week just to keep pace, and you were hoping that things would maybe be a little… “easier” come playoffs. 

Not easier in the sense that the games would suddenly be easy, I think we all know the opposite happens once the postseason rolls around, but more so in the sense that maybe they would get to put all of the noise behind them and just go out and play. 

No such luck though. Right before the final home games of the year, you officially lose Gabe Landeskog for the remainder of the season, guys whose injuries you were hoping would be healed by April, were still trying to figure out the best ways to manage the pain, some unable to. 

Then you get into this series and you have the Nichushkin saga play out, and then Makar gets suspended. It’s just been one thing after another and you wondered if at any point these guys would just run out of gas. 

Tonight it looked like the needle hit ‘E’. 

They’ve got two chances to bounce back, but this performance tonight really makes you wonder, not about their will, their desire, or even their competitiveness… but rather, do they physically have enough left to give to get past an extremely hard-working, fully bought-in Seattle Kraken team. 

I guess there’s only one way to find out. See you Friday. 

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