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Avs lose. And, why the heck did the Blackhawks trade Artemi Panarin again?

Adrian Dater Avatar
October 10, 2018

COLUMBUS, Ohio – You look at Artemi Panarin play, and you go “What the H-E-double-hockey-sticks were the Chicago Blackhawks thinking when they traded this guy?

They obviously weren’t thinking. What a terrible trade by the once-mighty Blackhawks. Panarin may not have had the flashiest stats in this but, but I thought he was the best player on the ice in the Columbus Blue Jackets’ 5-2 win over the Avalanche at Nationwide Arena. All Panarin did his first three years as a Blackhawk was win a Stanley Cup, put up an 82-point season in year three and help Patrick Kane win a scoring title playing on his line.

The Blackhawks trade him before last year and fail to make the playoffs. Not without coincidence.

So much for the Avs being an unbeaten team anymore. One good period was sandwiched between two terrible ones, as the Avs fell to 2-1-0.

“He’s got great poise with the puck. The way he’s able to soak up pressure, he allows himself an extra second to make a play. Not a lot of guys can do that,” said Avs defender Mark Barberio, his left hand wrapped in ice after the game. “We were flat coming out tonight. They were hungry on the forecheck and we were a step behind.”

Let’s go down the list of reasons why the Avs lost, not just because of the Bread Man, whose goal at 5:14 of the third period broke a 2-2 tie – a wicked wrister between the circles past the high glove of Avs goalie Philipp Grubauer, making his Avs career debut:

  • Terrible start: As Jared Bednar said after the game: “We stood around. We weren’t ready to start. You’re not ready to start, it’s pretty easy to move the puck around against you. We had three penalties in a five, six-minute period. When you’re not  skating, you’re going to take penalties.”
  • Terrible finish: After getting two goals in the second period, from Nathan MacKinnon and Carl Soderberg and a brand new game, the Avs failed to grab the lead toward the end when they could have (MacKinnon hit the post with one shot). In the third, it was back to standing around, back to making sloppy defensive reads, back to slow backchecking. Columbus scored three times, one on the empty net.
  • How was Grubauer? I don’t find a lot of fault with him in this one. One of Columbus’ goals came on a 5-on-3 in the first to make it 2-0. Panarin had all day to shoot the puck on the game-winner, and the Avs’ first line was lazy getting defensively too often overall. “I thought he was great,” Bednar said of Grubauer. “We hung him out to dry.” Grubauer stopped 30-of-34 shots.
  • Too much overpassing. Alexander Kerfoot was back to his old ways, passing up a couple of good looks for the extra pass. His line in general was ineffective and caught running around at times in their own zone.
  • Third line was terrible. The line of Carl Soderberg, Gabriel Bourque and Matt Nieto played without the puck just about all night. How bad were they? They combined for eight Corsi events for, and 27 against. Ouch. More analytics on the game here.
  • Barberio, Zadorov not good: The defensive duo had a rough night. Barberio had one Corsi for, 10 against. Zadorov was 6-12. Big Z just hasn’t looked great yet this season. Not moving his feet enough. I expect Patrik Nemeth to replace Barberio Thursday in Buffalo.
  • Tyson Barrie was ineffective offensively, failing to get a shot on net and taking too long with the puck on the power play.
  • Rookie Sheldon Dries played only seven minutes but took two penalties – one of which led to the 5-on-3 goal. His first penalty was a tripping minor on Panarin on a puck that was going to leave the Avs’ zone by itself. There was no real danger in Panarin getting it, because his teammates would have had to tag up and re-enter the zone, but Dries gave Columbus a gift by putting them on a power play.

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