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Avs-Panthers Game 53 Studs & Duds

AJ Haefele Avatar
February 10, 2024

Studs

Alexandar Georgiev

He gave up four more goals but it’s something else entirely to give up four goals on 40+ shots than the three goals on 11 or so shots we’ve seen several times this season.

The Avalanche got crushed in rare fashion in the second period and Georgiev only gave up one goal, albeit one off a huge rebound he kicked into the middle of the ice.

Goals one and four were ones he just didn’t have much of a chance to stop and he was good at even strength when the game was actually competitive. You’d love to see a save on that second goal especially but that was Sam Reinhart’s 39th goal so if you’re going to get beat, at least get beat by a dude having that kind of season, I suppose.

There weren’t a ton of players to pick from as a Stud in this game but I honestly liked more of what I saw from Georgiev than what I didn’t.

Duds

Nathan MacKinnon

I’ll just say that this is a lot more about MacKinnon leaving the game early due to injury than anything about his play, but it should be noted that his play was nowhere near the level you would like for it to be, especially with the team mired in the kind of losing streak that it is.

He’s earned his burn as a legitimate front-runner for the Hart Trophy but one point in four games coming out of the All-Star break is the kind of cooling that was to be expected at some point but has to come to an end sooner than later…

…assuming he’s healthy moving forward (he should be, but I am not trusting of good health fortune right now).

Special teams

It wasn’t a power-play-heavy contest but special teams still played a meaningful role in deciding this game’s outcome. The Avs got their first (and only) power play of the night in the first period and generated a couple of quality scoring chances but failed to score.

Florida got the next two power plays in the period and scored on each with both of them producing PK work that really didn’t sit well with me.

The first Panthers goal came on the back of a failed clear by Andrew Cogliano, who got the puck in this situation.

That has to be out! Cogliano’s value to the team is a lot more in his intangibles but his on-ice contributions rely heavily on him being a quality PK guy. With Logan O’Connor in the penalty box (bad Logan!), Cogliano’s importance goes up even more.

Failing to get this puck out of the zone resulted in a goal 12 seconds later. Had that puck gotten out of the zone, the Panthers would likely have just been re-entering the offensive zone at that time instead.

The second goal was a nice little wrinkle by the Panthers because they scored a very similar goal against the Avs in Denver earlier this year with Matthew Tkachuk feeding Reinhart in the center of the ice. The difference then was that Tkachuk was down low along the goal line and this time he was on the wall, but the function of the play was the same and Reinhart was just as open today as he was in their first matchup.

To me, that feels like a scouting win by the Panthers and a failure by the Avalanche. Quality game prep got the Panthers a 2-0 lead.

The second period

That was, for my money, the worst period of the season. They’ve been outscored worse in some periods but that was the worst hockey we’ve seen the Avs play in a single frame.

They gave up 24 shots on goal, 21 scoring chances, and 12 high-danger chances. In a single period. That is unacceptable.

Unsung Hero

The clock

Thanks for eventually striking zero and giving us all a chance to move on to the next game.

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